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I broke down the rise of talent in the state of Tennessee and hit on some of the schools that are battling to win the recruiting battle for the state.
With a recent rise in talent level, the state of Tennessee is becoming a new recruiting battleground for elite prospects.
Barton Simmons | 247Sports | National Recruiting Analyst | Twitter: @bartonsimmons
Thanks Barton. I've always felt like Tennessee, as a state, produces more talent than it gets credit for.
To me, for UT, they're always going to get a healthy chunk of instate prospects. The question is are they getting the right ones. In the late 90s some of UT's best players were instate guys. John Henderson, Travis Stephens, will Bartolomew, Cedrik Wilson, jason witten, jabari greer, etc. So they weren't necessarily recruiting more in-state players. They were just recruiting the right ones.
Recruiting the right players and evaluating well though is all about effort and resources put into the state.
We've missed on a few this year, but I definitely think Jalen Reeves-Maybin is one of the best. Josh Smith seems to have a lot of potential as well
Barton, You pointed out the kid who went to Clemson after growing in TN & SC. With our transient culture these days, not many are home grown from start to finish so some of the defections are mis-leading. I think Barrett Jones is a good example as he was a Bama legacy even though from Memphis. Had I had the size & skills I would have been one that would have looked odd as I graduated from HS in Indiana but always bled orange as Mom was from TN and it was our "home" as Dad moved us around being in the Air Force.
I guess my point is, yes we should expect to get all the players we want from in-state but it ins't always as simple as "a TN boy turned his back on the home-state university", especially in our current culture. The other important piece you noted is the six hour(350 miles) drive from WTN - how many SEC schools are closer to Memphis than UT is? AR, Vandy, Ole Miss, Miss ST, Bama, & LSU and now Missouri. In fact, Lexington (20), Tallahassee(100) & Athens(30) are only a few miles further than Knoxville.
This post was edited by volfanrbf 17 months ago
Agree. The piece wasn't meant to be an undressing of UT calling the Vols to task for not recruiting the state better. It was more to say that a talented state really is In a lot of ways up for grabs.
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