June Camps Will be Big for the 2019 Class, Particularly with Instate Prospects

After a month of May that predictably yielded a handful of bigtime commitments, Tennessee enters an important month of June with recruiting momentum and a 2019 class 8-deep in commitments and ranked #11 nationally in average stars.  At the same time, there are a relatively limited amount of space in its 2019 class and some real questions to answer heading into the dead period at the end of the month.

Because of the premium that Coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff put on competition and seeing prospects in person, they’ve taken the approach with all but a small handful of recruits that they want them to camp before they receive a commitable offer. With the aforementioned tight numbers in this class, the staff is going to be particularly picky in how it fills out the rest of its spots.  Tennessee will host camps starting on June 10th and including a high school prospect camp; two 7-on-7 tournaments; and two OL/DL camps.  The Vols will also be well-represented at the Mega Camp in Memphis on June 10th that will feature quite a few prospects the Vols will be looking to evaluate in person. Therefore, who shows up at these camps and how they perform will go a long way towards what both Tennessee’s commitment list and overall recruiting board look like coming out of the summer.

Relatedly, it’s been discussed ad nauseum that Pruitt feels differently than the recruiting services when it comes to this year’s instate class.  That is, although there are quite a few highly ranked players from the Volunteer State, there are only a handful Tennessee would take right now without them camping in Knoxville.

At this point, a pretty clearly a delineation has being created between instate kids who want to earn committable offers from UT and those that are less interested in doing so:

Camping this June

WR Trey Knox
DL Kristian Williams

DL Tymon Mitchell
DL Zion Logue

WR Gyasi Mattison

CB Adonis Otey
CB Wesley Walker
QB Stone Norton

The above are ranked in order of likelihood of earning an offer at camp.  I think Knox, Williams, and Mitchell in particular have a great shot of doing so, and all three appear to have the Vols near the top already.  Mattison was a spring camp star who according to Volquest.com could potentially be the best WR in the state.  Given the fact that Lance Wilhoitte might not camp (more on that below) Mattison could have a real chance to earn an offer.  Logue is a really intriguing prospect who was on campus back in March for a Junior Day.  He’s been listed at 6’4, 245 but this past weekend he camped at Ole Miss and measured at 6’6, 288 while running a 5.1 forty.  He had named top-5 of UVA, Memphis, Louisville, Nebraska, and Purdue, but he earned a Black Bear offer and seems to have opened things up.  Otey is a former Vol commitment with a nice offer list and the kind of size Pruitt likes in CBs, and Walker is coming off a fairly serious injury and will need to prove he’s back to his underclassman form.  Norton might actually have a shot at an offer despite his currently light offer list simply because the Vols are taking an interesting tack towards QB recruiting at the moment.

(Currently) Not Camping

DL Bill Norton

CB Maurice Hampton

CB Woodi Washington

WR Lance Wilhoitte

Unfortunately, all of these players appear to be near the top of UT’s instate prospect list, but Memphis-area prospects Hampton and Norton are committed to LSU and UGA, respectively, while Washington and Wilhoitte still seem to fall into the “need to camp”…camp.  Neither of Washington/Wilhoitte have completely shut down the idea of camping in Knoxville, so hopefully they will decide that earning a committable offer from the flagship school is worth it.  As for Norton and Hampton, Pruitt and Co. have made it clear to both of them that the Vols will continue to recruit them until they sign scholarship papers elsewhere, and there is some hope that Hampton in particular will at least make it to campus (if not camp) this month.

Camping Plans Unclear

LB Kane Patterson

CB Jashon Watkins

RB Eric Gray

Three solid instate players who will likely need to camp in order to earn a commitable offer from the Vols, though Patterson might not have to given that he has legit offers from Alabama, OSU and other power programs.

As it gets closer to the actual camps and more attendees become known, there will be some further clarity about who is serious about the Vols and vice versa.  We’ll likely see plenty of out of state prospects in as well, and there are some prospects like ATH Aaron Beasley (and, potentially, CBs Jaydon Hill and Tyus Fields) who could make decisions in June.  By the end of the month when the dead period begins I expect Tennessee to have earned another few commitments and also unearthed some new names to add to the board.

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