These outside states have the strongest presence on the Tennessee football Volunteers.
After losing about a dozen players who contributed to the program from last year’s team and adding 27 new guys via a top 10 recruiting class plus four transfers, Tennessee football has a much deeper roster this year. It also means the Vols have expanded their presence in different states across the country.
One of the hallmarks for Rocky Top under head coach Jeremy Pruitt was taking the program more across state lines once again to lure top-notch talent. It’s not like Pruitt doesn’t value in-state players, but he won’t sacrifice talent to keep a guy in-state.
The result of that is that now Tennessee football is set to rely on a number of stars from different states across the country heading into 2020. That talent is largely from states in the South, but Pruitt has been going national.
In this post, we’re going to rank the five strongest states outside of Tennessee on the Vols roster. We will be looking at the number of players from a state, but will also be looking at the value of those players, including how many are returning players on scholarship who have contributed to the program already and how many are starters.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the Vols don’t have a ton of in-state stars as well. Trey Smith, Brent Cimaglia, Alontae Taylor, Eric Gray, Ty Chandler, LaTrell Bumphus, Darel Middleton, Brent Cimaglia, Theo Jackson, Jerome Carvin and K’Rojhn Calbert are all veterans who figure to start or be rotational players. Emmit Gooden is back as well.
Meanwhile, guys like Princeton Fant, Ollie Lane, Jackson Lampley, Elijah Simmons, Austin Pope and Jacob Warren all provide promise, and UT added 11 newcomers in its 2020 class from its home state. That dominated all other states. From Memphis to Nashville to Knoxville, Pruitt has gotten lots of elite talent within his borders.
However, the Vols are building a strong program around talent from elsewhere as well. But where are they turning to the most? Let’s break that down here. These are the five strongest outside states on Tennessee football’s 2020 roster.