What a good week for the Tennessee Volunteers on the recruiting trail. Just this past weekend, the Vols received three verbal commitments from three highly touted prospects in just three days. Now, UT has added a verbal commitment from another big name prospect: running back Jalen Hurd from Beech Senior High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
This is as big of a commitment as the Vols have had since Da’Rick Rogers (No. 2 ranked wide receiver in 2010) picked Tennessee a few years ago. Hurd is considered by rivals.com to be the 15th best player in the country, and the no. 3 ranked running back nationally. Not only is he big (6’3” 210lbs), but he’s deceptively fast as well, displaying excellent speed once he bursts through the hole. Vision is another strength of his, as he’s always seeing blocks set up seconds before they actually do.
New Tennessee coach Butch Jones has wasted no time making his mark on the recruiting trail in SEC country. Some thought it might take him some time to get used to the cutthroat nature of recruiting in the SEC, and that was a valid concern for UT fans. After all, he’d been coaching and recruiting throughout his entire career in the Midwest, for programs much smaller than Tennessee. Jones is swiftly putting to rest any concerns that he won’t be able to compete with the powerhouses of the deep south on the recruiting trail, already claiming five verbal commitments in the few weeks since National Signing Day, and four in the last five days.
This class is absolutely crucial to Jones. The constant coaching changes the last couple of years have bled the Vols of any chance of continuity, and high attrition numbers have been the result. Tennessee just signed 21 prospects for the 2013 class, and another class like that (or even better by the looks of things) should help UT out of the SEC East basement (currently shared with the Kentucky Wildcats).
Rick Stavig is a National Recruiting Columnist for RantSports.com. In addition to covering College Football, he also covers the NFL and NFL Draft. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on google.