It looks like Josh Heupel still isn’t done trying to add new talent to Tennessee football for the 2021 season. The Vols are now in competition with another SEC school for a transfer from a program where they have already landed a transfer.
Virginia native Karon Prunty, who just completed his freshman season with the Kansas Jayhawks, is down to the Vols and the South Carolina Gamecocks. At 6’1″ 189 pounds, Prunty is listed as a cornerback and started every game of the season as a true freshman.
With 10 pass breakups, an interception, a forced fumble, no touchdowns allowed and just 38.5 percent of passes completed against him, Prunty was a breakout star for Kansas, earning All-Big 12 honorable mention and 247Sports Freshman All-American honors. He revealed that Tennessee football was in his top two on Twitter.
In addition to being an elite defender, Prunty proved his physicality with 26 total tackles, 22 of which were solo, and a tackle for a loss. Given his size and his play as a freshman, it’s hard to understand why the graduate of I.C. Norcom High School in Portsmouth, Va. was just a two-star on Rivals and a three-star on 247Sports.
Clearly, Prunty was a steal at the time, and he will be a huge addition for either team that lands him. The Vols also could be in line to land him given their addition earlier this year of Kansas transfer defensive lineman Da’Jon Terry.
Given the way Rocky Top struggled in the secondary last year, Prunty would be a huge boost for them. After all, Bryce Thompson’s early departure for the NFL is likely to make the pass defense struggle even more, particularly at cornerback. With Shawn Shamburger not coming back now, it’s even more clear that the Vols need help.
Tim Banks’ nickel-based 4-3 defense would be a great fit for Prunty, who has great size and can play on the line of scrimmage or in coverage. He would likely immediately thrive for Tennessee football, and as just a freshman, he could play a huge role in building the Vols’ future.