“Diamond in the Dirt” Jordan Young is a Vol


Three days ago, Jordan Young was a barely-known, unranked wide receiver who was toiling in obscurity in broad daylight. At 6’2″, 185 pounds, he certainly had the size, played in the Atlanta suburb of Conyers, Georgia, scored 17 touchdowns as a senior for Heritage High School and also was a Class AAAAAA state champion in the 110-meter hurdles.

So, how was Young coveted so minimally by the who’s-who of college football?

The loss of everybody else in the nation was Tennessee’s gain as coach Jeremy Pruitt, lead recruiter Tracy Rocker, offensive coordinator Tyson Helton and Co., found out about Young and hosted him on a visit to UT last weekend.

He committed Friday via his Twitter account.

Honestly, his name was “just another name on the list,” hardly thought of behind studs like Quay Walker. But he came to Knoxville, loved what he saw, and his film got out.

In no time, he went from being unranked and not even having a profile page to a 4-star prospect and the No. 190-ranked prospect in the country according to 247Sports. When he committed to the Vols on Friday, Rivals gave him 3 stars. After Young didn’t play the camp circuit, he was going to slide under the radar.

But Tennessee found him and got a commitment from him. Now, Ohio State, Miami, Florida State, Auburn and others are beating down Young’s door, trying to get him to visit. The Vols will have to hold off some of the top teams in the country for his signature, but it’s obvious Young is smitten with Tennessee.

And that’s big news for the Vols.

He runs a 4.43, high-points balls like nobody’s business on his film and has all the measurables you could want from a receiver recruit. Given UT’s massive need for impact players at his position and the Vols’ position with Jacob Copeland and uncertainty with Geordon Porter, it’s a major pickup for UT.

He will team with Alontae Taylor to give the Vols a formidable duo at a position of need.

How good could Young be? Barton Simmons — 247Sports’ director of scouting — was so blown away by his film, he ranked him that highly based off it. He told GoVols247’s Ryan Callahan that Young could be a “game-changing” pickup and that he has a 5-star ceiling and could have been higher had the service had ample time to evaluate him.

That’s some lofty praise from somebody who doesn’t hand out candy like gum from the church lady.

He told Callahan earlier in the week that Helton told him UT believed he was a diamond in the dirt.

This late in the game, the Vols are taking some major swings with Pruitt at the helm. They’re trying for 4- and 5-star guys and high-ceiling prospects who maybe don’t have the ratings or the offer sheets of some others. Needing to fill out the class with 6-7 more players and needing instant-impact players everywhere, that’s why Pruitt is going big. But, if they don’t pan out, he wants some developmental guys next.

Young is one of those rare late finds who could wind up being one of the stars of the class. That’s how big this commitment is. Now, hopefully, Tennessee can fend off some of the sport’s biggest and best programs to keep him in the fold.

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Oleg Zeltser
Oleg Zeltser

He was a second team all Georgia WR not sure how everyone just missed on him but I am glad they did now that he is a Vol

Matt Harless
Matt Harless

This seems like excellent evaluation. A top 20 recruiting class so far is pretty amazing.