Tennessee football is indeed one of the premiere programs in the country. But how difficult will rebuilding the Volunteers be for Jeremy Pruitt?
Jeremy Pruitt has Tennessee football fans elated for the upcoming 2018 season. He is without a doubt the most desired hire since Phillip Fulmer was fired. As Fall Camp opens, however, the struggles for the program, still reign.
The administration has toyed with fans flaunting “cosmetic” success and sales pitches. Meaning, it’s a program that always sold more than what it was.
Pruitt is a refreshing new take for Tennessee football and has admitted the program has a long way to go. While yes, we can be happy with his acknowledgments, the struggles have reached new heights. It starts with recruiting.
Anyone who is a Vols fan to their core is happy with this hire, but consider everything that has been happening. Fans were also sure in 2016 that they’d found their man in Butch Jones, but he derailed. Hard.
And now the SEC is moving faster than ever, not slowing down. Rivalry opponents are getting stronger. The Georgia Bulldogs, mark my words, will soon be the colossal giant no team wants to face (if they’re not already). Bama has been successful for years. Missouri has one of its most talented offenses it’s seen in recent history (despite Derrick Dooley being OC).
Currently in the 2019 Composite rankings, the top 3 teams are all SEC (Georgia, Bama, Texas A&M). Speaking of, Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M! The conference is no joke. A lot of recruiting happens in Texas, and Fisher is ready to scoop them up.
Not just SEC, other conferences too.
The Carolinas are an excellent stomping ground for recruiting, and with Clemson being the powerhouse it is, recruiting in their back yard will be a challenge for Pruitt and staff.
Oklahoma has always recruited well. The Big Ten also has a lot to sell. Penn State reached the No. 2 spot last year in the AP Top 25 and developed players like Saquon Barkley at RB. James Franklin has been onto something the past 2 years.
Michigan, while considered overrated under Jim Harbaugh, still recruits very well for the all time winningest program in college football.
So, yes Tennessee football is one of the premiere programs in the country like Pruitt has mentioned. But in the meantime, other programs have completely passed the Vols. They’ve created their own dynasties, renewed facilities and recruited big time playmakers.
The best news? In Pruitt’s first season as head coach, he’s hanging right there with those programs. If you look at that 2019 class ranking list, the Vols are No. 14 in the nation (5th in the SEC).
Tennessee football just had it’s worst season in school history but the new staff is recruiting like all the others. That in and of itself proves Pruitt is up to the challenge of restoring UT to dominance. The new facilities and new administration give the Vols a blank slate and high selling point to upcoming athletes. But, the real test is soon to come. Winning.
Now for your viewing pleasure, watch Jeremy Pruitt storm the field to pump up his players, after a TERRIBLE punt. *Warning: Vols fans may run through brick wall from adrenaline release.