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Thursday
Posted: Thursday, February 8th, 2018, 4:44 AM • Permalink
On the heels of a sobering National Signing Day for Tennessee, 'X' gets us jacked up for what could be next year.


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This coaching staff has its work cut out for it but they have tremendous, experienced recruiters with excellent track records. It should happen here. If it happens, it really needs to begin to happen on the recruiting trail next year.


What follows is an amazing report. Thanks to the T Club Members, you're reading this free of charge. Please consider joining our T Club at any level to keep this type of information free for all.


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'X' Says
'By the time you read this, 2018 national signing day will be in the books or very close to it. Hard to believe that Jeremy Pruitt took the Tennessee job exactly two months ago today February 7. What a topsy-turvy time for him. A couple of recruiting weekends as Tennessee coach. The early signing period. Back to Alabama for three weeks as defensive coordinator in the national championship game. Then, back to Tennessee. From there, a full out recruiting blitz leading up to national signing day.


First, what Coach Pruitt did with his make shift recruiting staff during the early signing period was remarkable. 14 signees including signing a couple of kids who appeared to be headed to other schools. Early success gave fans optimism.


The late signing period has not yielded the expected results and to be honest the ride has been bumpy. I view his 2 months on the job at Tennessee as a period where he removed the recruiting stench from the program left by the former regime and it was knee deep to be sure. One thing to keep in mind. I absolutely believe “ 2018 recruiting “ is not over. Over last weekend and even into Monday evening, four new targets have emerged on Tennessee’s recruiting board. I don’t know if any of the four ultimately sign with Tennessee but it shows you this regime plans to leave no stone unturned.


Also, do not discount Coach Pruitt looking to supplement the current roster by adding fifth-year transfers. Quarterback, offensive line and maybe even cornerback come to mind as positions where immediate help is needed.


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I do not think offering prospects late or taking fifth year transfer screams desperation. I give you this example. While Coach Pruitt was the defensive coordinator at Georgia, late in the recruiting cycle he offered a little-known, lightly recruited safety from Tucker High School a scholarship. This prospect was committed to Central Florida, was a 3-star recruit, was the No. 51 safety in the country, and was rated as the No. 83 prospect in Georgia. That prospect was Dominick Sanders. Sanders just graduated from Georgia where he was a four-year starter. Sanders departs Georgia tied as the career leader for the school in interceptions. Sanders will have an opportunity to play on Sundays. If they find a prospect, they believe can help them regardless of what the rankings or ratings say, this staff will go get them.


In my world, Coach Pruitt has a pass for the first two months on the job. When it comes to recruiting, his clock starts right now. Recruiting will get better when prospects see the product on the field. That will happen in time.


TO DO LIST BETWEEN NOW AND DECEMBER 2018:


Lock down the state of Tennessee.

According to 247 recruiting service, there are 18, 4 star prospects in Tennessee for the 2019 recruiting cycle. Let’s be realistic. Tennessee is not going to sign all of them. Some of those kids simply do not fit the new schemes on both sides of the ball. With that said, Tennessee needs to get their fair share of the in-state prospects that do fit their schemes.


Be active in Georgia and the Carolinas.

As usual the state of Georgia is once again loaded with football prospects. Interestingly, 2019 is an usually good year in the Carolinas (especially North Carolina). When Tennessee is at its best, Tennessee has competed for the best prospects in those states and won their share of those battles. So far, the new Tennessee staff has been warmly received in both areas.


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Find your quarterback of the future

I am not convinced the quarterback of the future is on Tennessee’s roster. 2019 is a very good year for high school quarterbacks across the country. It is important to find, recruit, and sign a prospect you can recruit around for the next few years.


Roster reconstruction

The next recruiting class will look different than previous classes. Lots of bigger bodies at virtually every position to support a pro-style offense and a new defensive scheme. Roster reconstruction may take one to two recruiting cycles. Until the roster gets turned over, Tennessee will be competing on both sides of the ball with a few misfit parts. Recruiting will fix this over time.


Prioritize the lines of scrimmage

Tennessee will lose a minimum of 5 players from the defensive line after the 2018 season. All have played a lot of football at Tennessee. The depth behind them is inexperienced and unproven. Tennessee needs big numbers on the defensive line in the 2019 recruiting class.


Performance of the offensive line has been the biggest question mark for this program for seemingly the last 4 or 5 years. Between unfortunate injuries, under performance, and poor player development, Tennessee needs to continue to recruit better here.


Lessons Learned

This is Coach Pruitt’s first time sitting in the big chair on signing day. Hindsight is 20/20 but I would bet you a nickel he would love to have a do-over or two from the 2018 cycle in terms of scheduling official visits and taking in-home visits. I believe he’ll learn from any mis-steps he may have made and it will payoff for him in the future.


No Easy Task

Before yesterday we knew the former coaching regime has certainly left Coach Pruitt a considerable challenge in state for 2019. While the old staff did “recruit “ some of the 2019 prospects, as the season went on there was less and less recruiting contacts. Also, there is not much evidence the former staff was terribly engaged with prospects west of the mid-state. This has allowed other programs to gain advantage. One more challenge for the new head coach.


My 2019 Top 12 (Actually 14) In State Prospects:

Full disclosure !!! I never look start looking at “next year's” prospects until the current recruiting cycle is in the books. I made an exception for this particular recruiting cycle. Keep in mind the following is my opinion only. I can say the middle and west Tennessee are full of high level Power 5 football prospects. Overall. Most recruiting roads will lead to the mid-state again in 2019. By my count, there are 7 in-state prospects listed in 247.


Lance Wilhoite: Wide Receiver. Franklin Road Academy. Wilhoite is a tall, long playmaking wide out who is being recruited by everyone.


Maurice Hampton Memphis University School: Cornerback/Running Back. Ranked by 247Sports as the nation's No. 55 overall prospect, No. 2 cornerback in country, and No. 1 player in state. Committed to LSU in a year ago. Exceptional athlete who may be drafted early in major league baseball draft.


Bill Norton. Christian Brothers. Norton is being recruited both as a tackle and a defensive end. At 6’6” 275 you can see why. This is shaping up as a Tennessee-Georgia battle.


Joe Anderson, Siegel: Strongside defensive end. Anderson is an explosive strong side defensive end. Tennessee will have its hands full. Notre Dame appears to be leader early.


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Shamar Nash, Memphis Central. Wide Receiver. Nash was lightly recruited by Tennessee until December when Coach Pruitt immediately offered Nash a scholarship. Nash visited campus during one of the January junior days. Every school in SEC is chasing Nash.


Trey Knox, Blackmon: Wide Receiver. Knox is a smaller, thicker version of Lance Wilhoite. New staff has made Knox a priority.


Jackson Lampley Montgomery Bell Academy: Offensive Line. Lampley is one of the prospects in state at a position of need.


Wes Walker, Ensworth: Defensive Back. Tall, athletic cornerback. Drawing interest from top schools in country.


TJ Sheffield, Independence: Athlete. Former Tennessee commitment who decided to reopen his recruiting. Small for a corner in the 3-4 scheme . Explosive with ball in his hands.


Adonis Otey, Blackman HS: Cornerback. Former Tennessee commitment who re-opened his recruitment. Drawing lots of SEC interest.


Woodi Washington, Oakland HS: Cornerback. Washington was hosted by Tennessee last week as an unofficial visitor. Clearly seems to be a priority for the new staff.


Ani Izuchukwu, Davidson Academy: Defensive End. Athletic defensive end/edge rush prospect. Seeing lots of SEC interest. Alabama would appear to be the team to beat but its early.


Eric Gregory , Memphis Central HS: Strongside defensive end. Big time talent from west side of state.


Eric Gray, Lausanne Collegiate School: All Purpose Back. Tennessee immediate made Gray a priority in December. Lots of catching up to do here.



My 2019 Top 12 (Actually 15) Top Targets Nationally:

Again, full disclosure here. Not much intel available on these prospects right now. We will develop these prospects and their level of interest in Tennessee over the next few months.


Darnell Wright, Offensive Tackle. 5 star prospect. Talented, athletic. Wanted by everyone.


Sam Howell, Quarterback, North Carolina kid who grew up liking Tennessee. Already in close contact with new staff.


Jadon Haselwood, Wide Receiver. Some services have Haselwood rated as the 3rd best prospect in country regardless of position. Georgia commitment who visited Tennessee unofficially last weekend.


Quavarious Couch. Tennessee needs to land a difference making running back or two in this recruiting cycle. Couch, a North Carolina prospect, is one of best in country for 2019.


Savion Jackson, Strongside defensive end. Defensive line is main priority in 2019. Jackson, another North Carolina prospect, is near top of Tennessee’s board.


Owen Pappoe, Outside Linebacker. One of top linebacker prospects in country. Pappoe is at top of Tennessee’s board and one of most highly recruited prospects in the state of Georgia for 2019.


Kenyatta Watson, Cornerback. Teammate of Pappoe. Already holds more than 40 offers. Top #5 national prospect at cornerback. Was on campus for junior day in January.


Jowon Briggs, Defensive Tackle. Tennessee is setting its sights high. Why not go after one of top defensive tackles in country.


Bill Norton, offensive tackle/defensive line. Norton is such a versatile athlete who could play SEC level football as an offensive lineman or defensive end in a 3-4.


Maurice Hampton, cornerback/running back. Both positions are such need positions for Tennessee. Very much an uphill battle for Tennessee.


John Emery, running back. 2019 offers a number of very good running back prospects in the southeast. Emery is a Louisiana kid. I’m banking on the reign of Orgeron to continue its decline.


Wayna Morris, offensive tackle. A teammate of Pappoe and Watson. Tennessee may benefit from Georgia stocking up in 2018 on similarly-sized offensive line prospects. Tennessee offers an appealing depth chart to elite level offensive prospects going forward.


Michael Morris, defensive end. Morris is committed to FSU but Tennessee staff is well-connected around Heritage High School in Florida that Morris attends. He is an athletic, disruptive player. I wouldn’t count Tennessee out of this one.


Treyveon Freshwater, linebacker. Yet another North Carolina product. Tennessee needs big athletic linebackers who can run.


Lance Wilhoite, wide receiver. Wilhoite is an elite talent. Tennessee looks to come up light at receiver in the 2018 recruiting cycle. The opportunity for immediate playing time for wide receivers in 2019 is real.



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2019 -First Pass of the Top 75 (OR SO) Targets:


Prospects are listed by position. Again, there is not much intel available but that will change.



OFFENSE:

QUARTERBACK

Sam Howell 6’1” 200 lb. SUN VALLEY HS , CHARLOTTE, NC


Lance Legendre, 6’2” 205 LB. WARREN EAST HS, NEW ORLEANS, LA


Garrett Schrader, 6'4" 200 LBS. CHARLOTTE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL CHARLOTTE, NC


RUNNING BACK:

Ronald Thompkins, 5’ 11” 190 LBS. GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILLE, PA


Noah Cain 5'10" 200 LBS. IMG ACADEMY, ORLANDO , FL


Daniel Carter, 5"11" 190 LBS. , ST THOMAS AQUINAS HS, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL


Quavarious Couch, 6'2" 230 LBS. HARDING UNIVERSITY HS, CHARLOTTE, NC


Eric Gray, 5’10” 185 LAUSANNA COLLEGAITE SCHOOL, MEMPHIS TN


Trey Sanders, 6'1" 210 LBS., IMG ACADEMY, ORLANDO, FL


John Emery, 6'0" 200 DESTRAHAN HS, DESTRAHAN , LA


AJ Finley, 6'2" 200 LBS. ST EPISCOPAL HS, MOBILE, AL


Jarren Mongham, 6'2" 220 LBS. CASS TECH HS, DETROIT, MI



WIDE RECEIVER

Quinton Torbor, 6'2" 180 LBS, DESTRAHAN HS, DESTRAHAN, LA


John Dunmore, 6'2" 175 LBS. CHAMINADEMADONNA PREP, HOLLYWOOD, FL.


Shamar Nash, 6’2” 190 LB. MEMPHIS CENTRAL HS, MEMPHIS TN.


Jordan Haselwood, 6'3" 185 LBS., CEDAR GROVE HS, ELLENWOOD, GA


Devontae Lee, 6'2" 188 LBS. AMITE HS, AMITE , LA


Trey Knox, 6’4” 205 LB BLACKMAN HS, MURFREESBORO


Kendall Scurry, 6’2” 185 LB INDEPENDENCE HS, THOMPSON STATION, TN NASHVILLE, TN


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Lance Wilhoite, 6’3” 180 LB FRANKLIN ROAD ACADEMY HS, NASHVILLE, TN . Prospect at both wide receiver and safety. Tennessee is recruiting as a wide receiver.


Ramel Keyton, 6’2” 180 lbs., MARIETTA HS, MARIETTA GA



OFFENSIVE LINEMAN:

Darnell Wright, 6’6” 275 LB.HUNTINGTON HS, HUNTINGTON, WV


Wayna Morris, 6’6” 290 LB. GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILLE, GA


Jackson Lampley, 6’4” 300 LB MONTGOMERY BELL ACADEMY, NASHVILLE, TN


Tymon Mitchell, 6.3” 285 LB FRANKLIN ROAD ACADEMY, NASHVILLE, TN


Warren McClendon, 6’4” 270 LB. BRUNSWICK HS, BRUNSWICK, GA


Triston Miller, 6’6” 270 lb. CHARLOTTE DAY COUNTRY SCHOOL, CHARLOTTE, NC.


Trente Jones, 6’5” 293 LB. GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILLE, GA


Pierre Quick, 6’5” 270 LBS. HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE HS TRUSSVILLE, AL


Stacey Wilkins, 6'&" 280 LBS. CAMDEN FAIRVIEW HS, CAMDEN ARK


Ikem Ekwonu, 6'4" 285 LBS. PROVIDENCE DAY SCHOOL , CHARLOTTE , NC


Tight End:


Jude Wolfe, 6’6” 250 lb. JOHN BOSCO HS, BELLFLOWER, CA


Ethan Rae, 6’5” 230 lb. LUTHERAN HS, ORANGE , CA


Jackson Lowe, 6'5" 245 LBS. CARTERSVILLE HS, CARTERSVILLE, GA





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DEFENSIVE:


DEFENSIVE END:

Savion Jackson, 6'2" 245 LBS. CLAYTON HS, CLAYTON , NC


Rashad Cheney, 6'4" 250 LBS. WASHINGTON HS, ATLANTA, GA


Jacolbe Cowan , 6'5" 260 LBS. PROVIDENCE DAY SCHOOL, CHARLOTTE, NC


Michael Morris, 6'5" 245 LBS. , AMERICAN HERITAGE HS, BOCA RATON, FL.


Rambo Hunter, 6’6” 280 lbs. DUNBAR HS, FORT MYERS, FL.


Justin Eboigbe, 6’5” 260 LB. FOREST PARK HS, FOREST PARK GA


Breadon Mowry, 6’4” 240 lbs. TAYLOR HS, KATY TX


Derrick McClendon, 6'4" 230 LBS., TUCKER HS, TUCKER, GA.


Colby Wooden, 6'3" 230 LBS., ARCHER HS, LAWRENCEVILLE, GA


Nolan Smith, 6'3" 245 LBS., IMG ACADEMY. ORLANDO, FL.


Marcus Stripling, 6'3" 260 LBS., MAYNE CREEK, HOUSTON, TX



Bill Norton, 6’4” 270 LB, CHRISTAIN BROTHERS HS, MEMPHIS TN



Ani Izuchukwu, 6’4” 230 LB. DAVIDSON ACADEMY NASHVILLE, TN


Joseph Anderson, 6’4” 260 LB SEIGEL HS MURFREESBORO TN


Jadon Handy , 6'4" 260 LBS, NEW AUGUSTA HS, AUGUSTA, MS


Joseph Honeysucker, 6’2” 215 LB HILLSBORO HS, NASHVILLE, TN


Eric Gregory, 6’4” 240 LB MEMPHIS CENTRAL HS, MEMPHIS , TN


Kayvon Thibodeaux, 6'5" 230 LBS. SUSAN MILLER DORSEY HS.

Currently ranked as the #1 defensive end in country



DEFENSIVE TACKLE:

Ben Smiley, 6’4” 265 LB. INDIAN RIVER, CHESAPEAKE, VA


Jalar Holley, 6’3” 280 LBS. BUFORD, HS BUFORD, GA


CJ Clark , 6-3 , 303 LBS. NORTH STANLEY HS, NEW LONDON, NC.



Elijah Simmons, 6’2” 300 LB PEARL COHN HS, NASHVILLE TN


LeDarius Cox, 6’4” 300 lbs., MCGILL-TOOLEN HS, MOBILE, AL.


Patrick Lucas, 6'3" 265 LBS. WETUMPKA HS, WETUMPKA, AL


Jowon Briggs, 6'4" 275 LBS. WALNUT HILLS, CINCINNATI, OH


Kristen Williams, 6'3" 285 LBS. , MEMPHIS SOUTHWIND HS, MEMPHIS, TN.

One of first defensive tackles offered by new staff.


Joshua Harris 6’5” 295 LB. PERSON HS, ROXBORO, NC



LINEBACKER:


King Mwitkwa, 6'4" 230 LBS. TROUP HS, LAGRANGE, GA


Osita Ekwonu, 6'2" 220 LBS. PROVIDENCE DAY SCHOOL CHARLOTTE, NC


Kevin Harris , 6'2" 210 LBS. GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILLE, GA


Antoine Sampah, 6'1" 210 LBS, WOODBRIDGE HS, WOODBRIDGE, VA



Jamarious Landers, 6"3" 210 LBS., AMERICAN HERITAGE HS, BOCA RATON, FL


Owen Pappoe , 6'2" 210 LBS, GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILLE, GA


Tarique Barnes, 6'0" 220, MEMPHIS EAST HS, MEMPHIS, TN


Nakobe Dean, 6'0" 215 LBS. , HORN LAKE HA, HORN LAKE, MS



Trevyon Freshwater, 6'3" 220 LBS. NORTHEAST ELIZABETH CITY HS, ELIZABETH CITY, NC



CORNERBACK:


Woodi Washington, 5’11” LB OAKLAND HS, MURFREESBORO, TN. Many believe Washington is top prospect in state for 2018.



Maurice Hampton, 5’11” 180 LB MEMPHIS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL, MEMPHIS , TN (Committed to LSU). Future maybe in professional baseball



Wesley Walker, 6’0” 180 LB. ENSWORTH HS, NASHVILLE, TN



Dante Wynn, ENSWORTH HS, NASHVILLE, TN



Adonis Otey, 6’0” 175 LB, BLACKMAN HS MURFREESBORO



Trikweze Bridges, 6'3"175 LBS. LANETT HS, LANETT, ALA



Isaiah Rutherford, 6'2" 170 LBS. JESUIT HS, CARMICHAEL, CA



Kenyatta Watson , 6'2" 185 LBS, GRAYSON HS, LOGANSVILE, GA



Brian Williams, 6'1" 190 LBS. BISHOP DUNNE HS, DALLAS, TX

Williams is top defensive back/safety in country



Demani Richarson, 6'2" 200 lbs., WAXAHACHIE HS, WAXAHACHIE, TX



Marquez Beason, 5'11" 185 LBS. , BISHOP DUNNE HS, DALLAS TX



Eric Young, 6'1" 195 LBS. FORT BEND BUSH HS, RICHMOND, TX



Jamal Morris, 6'2" 180 LBS. FORT BEND BUSH, RICHMOND, TX



SAFETY:


Jalyn Phillips, 6’1” 190 lbs. ARCHER HS, LAWRENCEVILLE, GA



Ishmael Burdine 6’1” 185 lbs. SLIDELL HS, SLIDELL LA



Sheridan Jones, 6'0" 175 LBS., BISHOP SULLIVAN HS, VIRGINIA BEACH, VA



LEAGUE TITLE OR NOT IT'S A GOOD YEAR
Posted: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2:26 PM
by Beano
Team USA
Posted: Sat, Feb 24th, 10:13 AM
by Alison
ATHLETE:

Chico Bennett, JR. 6'4" 210 LBS. BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY, NASHVILLE, TN


Jaylin Simson , 5'11" 170 LBS., FREDERICA ACADEMY, ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA


Jashon Watkins, 6’4” 180 LB. NASHVILLE EAST MAGNET SCHOOL, NASHVILLE, TN


Javarious Martin, 6'0" 185 LBS, WATUMPKA HS, WATUMPKA, AL



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I look forward to a great 2018 with you as we track progress on the 2019 class.

X'



Today on The Tony Basilio Show!!! We'll bask in the glow of that YUUUUUGE win over Kentucky plus we'll bask in the glow of that win over Kentucky...

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Tony

A New Direction At TonyBasilio.com: Here at Tonybasilio.com we’re creating a series of programming with little to mostly zero commercial sponsorship. In other words, you will be digesting the following programs in coming days with almost no interruption. This is unprecedented in the history of my business. Nobody has ever done this. Here are the offerings coming your way.

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LEAGUE TITLE OR NOT IT'S A GOOD YEAR
Posted: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2:26 PM
by Beano
Team USA
Posted: Sat, Feb 24th, 10:13 AM
by Alison
Fifth Quarter Fan Reaction: Back for season 4. Sponsored by Marcos Garza. This year with NO OTHER SPONSORS. This will be pure content for you. I’m taking a chance here but I know you will reward me for not bombarding you with messages Vol Network style. This program will run for at least 3 hours following Tennessee Football Games. We will have new visual presentation of this feature as well that we’re investing in. Thanks to Jayson Swain for helping me with the technical side of our visual presentation.


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LEAGUE TITLE OR NOT IT'S A GOOD YEAR
Posted: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2:26 PM
by Beano
Team USA
Posted: Sat, Feb 24th, 10:13 AM
by Alison
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