Tennessee coach Butch Jones has brought in yet another elite recruit with the verbal commitment of superstar prep athlete Jalen Hurd of Hendersonville, Tenn, according to 247Sports.
The Volunteers suffered three grueling years under the hapless Derek Dooley. Upon his ousting, the incoming Jones understood that if he was going to be able to compete with the likes of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina in the SEC East, he was going to have to be able to recruit.
That did not simply mean going anywhere and everywhere in search of talent, however.
What that meant was building that proverbial fence around his home state, and keeping all the best talent from going elsewhere.
He was hired on too late to be able to sway the state’s top two recruits of the 2013 class to stay home: Vonn Bell went to Ohio State and Jalen Ramsey went to Florida State.
However, the former Cincinnati head coach has already done a spectacular job of making Tennessee a viable spot for potential superstar recruits just a few short months on the job. Todd Kelly Jr.’s father was an All-American for the Vols back in 1993. Under Dooley, perhaps one of the nation’s top-rated safeties goes elsewhere. Instead, Jones made him a priority and locked down Junior’s commitment in early March.
Jalen Hurd now becomes the second elite recruit to remain in his home state as Jones works tirelessly to build a winner out of the dumpster-fire he inherited. At 6-foot-3 and 222 pounds, Hurd can be moved all over the field, on both sides of the ball. He is known specifically for his versatility, as well as his speed and abilities as a playmaker.
Thus, Hurd will not be heading to Knoxville with one set position in mind. Instead, he the coaching staff will bring an open mind to his development on the football field. He has great top-end speed, so getting him out in space offensively might be ideal, or having him line up at defensive back or linebacker may be a better fit.
That all remains to be seen. What is important is the fact that this young man has offers on the table from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Ohio State and several others, but he chose Tennessee.
Just like Todd Kelly Jr., and like how several other elite recruits hopefully will in the very near future.