Tennessee Football came into Thursday with 24 verbal commitments, and they’re leaving with 23 as the “processing” could be underway.
As Tennessee football began to get commitment after commitment, the football program and its fans alike were on top of a virtually dead sports world. They lit the recruiting trail on fire for a few weeks and stacked up commitments.
As the Vols neared its capacity for commitments with the 2021 class, something popped in my mind and many others. What happens if Tennessee gets 25 commitments before the season starts? Will Jeremy Pruitt have to turn away four and five-stars? Will the lower-ranked recruits just de-commit, or could they be pushed out?
Well, I don’t think that Pruitt would push out any recruit because if that got out, it wouldn’t be a good look. In fact, it would be a very, very bad look. But I did anticipate that we could start seeing some of the lower-rated three-stars make the decision to play elsewhere.
Some refer to that as “processing,” which is a nice way to describe the situation. Regardless of what you want to call it, it could have started on Thursday as a commit flipped from Tennessee to North Carolina State.
Nate Evans, a three-star cornerback from Virginia, announced on Thursday that he would be verbally committing to North Carolina State.
I’ve already seen a few people say that he’s de-committing because Pruitt and Tennessee “are losing,” and honestly, I don’t know how Tennessee is losing when we’re not even in the summer. The Vols sit at No. 2 in recruiting rankings, so if Tennessee is losing, then how would you define what the other teams are doing?
Tennessee isn’t losing, but if that’s what the haters need to cling onto to fill better, then that’s fine with me. If you’ve been following Tennessee’s recruiting cycle this year, then you knew this was coming it was just a matter of when.
I hate that some players are going to be forced out, even if they voluntarily leave, because of the current number of commitments Tennessee has right now. I hope the ones that do uncommit from Tennessee can find a school where they will thrive, and I hope Evans has a successful career at NC State along with an opportunity to play in the NFL.
We can’t have every recruit in the country, so we have to go out and get the best 25 recruits we possibly can. If this is the beginning of the “processing,” then we could still see a handful more de-commit before everything is said and done.