Butch Jones has made no bones about it: Rocky Top is getting back to prominence, and he is the man to lead them. Despite recent lackluster seasons and coaching changes, players are flocking to Knoxville faster than Willie Gault‘s 40 time.
Seven prospects have decided to make Tennessee their new home this month, including three talented Georgians: linebacker Austin Smith, defensive tackle Quay Picou and former Alabama Crimson Tide running back Alvin Kamara. All three are a direct result of “Orange Carpet Day,” which was held on June 21 and each of these players committed to Tennessee that day.
Jones and company blew recruits away with their facilities and passion for the program, a welcome sight for Volunteer fans desperate for success on the gridiron.
This enormous haul has catapulted the Volunteers into the top 10 according to both 247sports.com and Rivals.com. If Jones can keep this momentum going and send Tennessee back to a bowl game during the season, the Volunteers can reestablish themselves as a force in the SEC with another strong class in 2016.
Texas A&M has opened the proverbial floodgates, grabbing nine total commitments in May and June. Included in this haul is the possible quarterback of the future, Kyler Murray, and great targets for Murray in wide receivers Damarkus Lodge and Kemah Siverand.
Kevin Sumlin has leveraged the popularity of Johnny Manziel and the Aggies’ success in the SEC to the fullest, all the while putting their in-state counterparts in the rear view mirror on the recruiting trail. All but two of the 17 commitments are Texans in this strong class that is currently rated no. 2 by 247sports.com and no. 3 by Rivals.com.
These two teams are teeing it up and spoiling for a fight on the field and in recruiting. Can their SEC opponents match this wave of momentum? It will be an interesting summer down south.