Tennessee football recruiting received good news Friday. The Volunteers made the cut for four-star Chattanooga, Tenn. defensive end Jay Hardy.
Within the past week, Tennessee football has received two commitments from defensive players, one a four-star linebacker from Georgia and the other a three-star defensive back from Washington, D.C. But they lost out on a four-star in-state prospect to the Kentucky Wildcats.
The good news for the Vols, though, is they made the cut for another in-state defensive prospect on Friday. Jay Hardy, a four-star strongside defensive end on Rivals, trimmed his list to five schools, and UT was on that list.
Hardy had Tennessee football, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Florida Gators, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets all on that list. Jeremy Pruitt’s program was expected to be on there. He announced his five schools on Twitter.
Coming out of McCallie High School in Chattanooga, Hardy is a crucial target for the Vols because of him also being from East Tennessee. He is a defensive end from the same place Reggie White is from, if that means anything.
Anyway, at 6’5″ 250 pounds, he is also the perfect type of player for Pruitt’s system. Hardy would be able to trim down and become an outside linebacker and pure edge rusher, or he could put on some weight and play up on the line.
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Being ranked a top 150 player, the No. 7 player nationally at his position and the No. 4 player within the state of Tennessee also makes this good news. Tennessee football needs to make sure it secures elite talent like Hardy.
Currently, the Rivals FutureCast and 247Sports Crystal Ball has the Vols as the unanimous favorites to land Hardy, which is more good news for Rocky Top. The Rivals FanFutureCast has them as a favorite by a majority.
That’s why this news was expected. However, the Vols can’t afford to lose any ground. They need to make sure they stay at the top of Hardy’s list because any of the other schools could make a push. Three are from neighboring states.