The Tennessee Volunteers’ top prospect Jalen Hurd shined on the national stage as his Beech Buccaneers defeated Station Camp 42-39 in a Sunday afternoon showcase on ESPN2. Hurd led the Bucs with 177 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Hurd, the top prospect in the Volunteer state, impressed the Tennessee fan base with a strong opening effort to his senior season. However, the nationally-televised game also showcased the growing amount of talent within the state represented on both teams.
Station Camp’s Josh Malone currently ranks as the No. 2 prospect in Tennessee and the No. 30 overall high school prospect. Malone has yet to announce his future collegiate aspirations and has offers from many programs, including Tennessee and Georgia.
The Tennessee football program has benefited from a strong in-state talent pool, currently holding the No. 2 ranking on Rivals. The Vols have commitments from four of the top-10 players in the state, while still being in the running for the undeclared prospects.
The surge in talent has come at a perfect time for the Tennessee program looking to rebuild. While the state has lacked in depth of talent in the recent past, the Vols have tried to compete for prospects within the regions of SEC powerhouses.
While Tennessee has seen some success recruiting major prospects from other states, the increased level of talent within their own boundaries has given a them huge boost. For a team struggling to compete in the SEC while experiencing uncertainty with a new coaching staff, the Vols’ 2014 recruiting class is extremely impressive.
The war in the SEC must be won on the recruiting trail, and Butch Jones has made many victories in his battles thus far. If the level of high school talent within the state of Tennessee continues to improve, the Vols should continue their success on the recruiting trail and eventually improve their on-field success.