Tennessee football: Vols in top five for 2021 North Carolina OL

Recruiting trends continued for Tennessee football Wednesday, as the Volunteers made the cut for offensive lineman Colby Smith of Wentworth, N.C.

Phillip Fulmer recently discussed the importance of Tennessee football recruiting North Carolina. Everybody knows that you can never stop trying to restock the trenches if you’re the head coach of an SEC program, and Jeremy Pruitt has focused on that.

As a result, it’s only good news for the Vols when they make the cut for an offensive lineman from North Carolina. That’s exactly what happened with them Thursday evening, as Colby Smith, a three-star tackle on Rivals out of Rockingham County High School in Wentworth, N.C., put UT in his top five.

In addition to Tennessee football, Smith’s top five included the Louisville Cardinals, North Carolina Tar Heels, N.C. State Wolfpack and South Carolina Gamecocks. The 6’7″ 285-pound prospect announced his list on Twitter.

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Although he is only a three-star on Rivals, Smith already has good size, and he has plenty of room to grow. Those things matter to Pruitt, who has to believe he has put a staff together that can develop anybody up front as long as they have the right size.

If the Vols are trying to land this guy, one bit of good news is the fact that they are the only school not from the Carolinas or the ACC in the running for him. That must mean there is something specifically intriguing about UT that is drawing him there.

There are no predictions as to where he will land yet on the Rivals Future Cast or the 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Rivals Fan Future Cast has South Carolina as the favorite by a large majority, but those forecasts are obviously much more objective.

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As a result, it’s safe to say the Vols have as much a chance to land Smith as anybody at this moment. There is clearly plenty of reason to believe that he can develop over time given where he stands right now, and he fulfills a couple of goals for UT that we have already mentioned: consistently reloading the trenches and getting into North Carolina.