The 2020 college football season is still several months away, but Tennessee is making headlines for its 2021 recruiting class. Jeremy Pruitt’s staff has landed 23 total commitments, including eight players in ESPN’s top 300.
The Volunteers come in at No. 2 overall, which makes them the highest-ranked class in the SEC. Five-star linebacker Terrence Lewis and defensive end Dylan Brooks headline the top recruits.
Tennessee is the only team in the top 25 with more than 19 total commitments — Ohio State has the No. 1-ranked class with 19.
Lewis, an outside linebacker from Florida, committed to Tennessee on April 30. He received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Michigan and others. Lewis is No. 12 overall in the 247Sports 2021 class, which makes him the top-ranked outside linebacker.
Brooks committed to Pruitt’s staff four days before Lewis. The 6-foot-5 defensive end hails from Alabama and received offers from nearly all of the top programs. He is the No. 1 weak-side defensive end and is No. 35 overall.
The Vols have not been this high in the June recruiting rankings going back to 2016. Tennessee was No. 8 in the June rankings in 2017 and 2018, but finished at No. 15 and No. 23, respectively.
Rivals also lists Tennessee as the No. 2 recruiting class, while 247Sports has the Vols at No. 3. Pruitt’s staff lost one of their commitments last week, as four-star safety Kamar Wilcoxson committed to Florida for the third time. He had flipped from the Gators to the Vols on April 27, but that commitment only lasted 53 days.
“I’m blessed to be committed to the University of Florida for good,” Wilcoxson said on Twitter. “My recruitment is officially over. I appreciate all the coaches who have recruited me up to this point. I’m firm with my decision. I will cut off all communication with other schools.”
Wilcoxson was previously committed to Florida from Nov. 3, 2018 to April 27, 2019 and from July 27, 2019 to March 26, 2020. He is the No. 275 prospect in the country, according to 247Sports.
Tennessee’s 2020 season win total is at 7.5 games, according to 5Dimes. The Vols are 8.5-point road underdogs against Oklahoma in Week 2 and are seven-point home ‘dogs vs. Florida on Sept. 26.They are a longshot to win the College Football Playoff, currently priced at 150/1.
BetOnline has the Vols with 14/1 odds to make an appearance in the CFP. Tennessee has 40/1 odds to win the SEC Championship Game at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.