Now that the early signing period and various all-star games have come and gone, all the attention in the recruiting world turns to the February 7 National Signing Day.
Despite the unexpectedly high number of recruits who signed during the early signing period (about two-thirds of the FBS prospects already have signed), there are numerous big-time prospects who still are out there.
Tennessee signed 14 prospects during December’s early signing period, and the Volunteers remain in contention for many highly ranked recruits as we approach National Signing Day.
Here is a look at one uncommitted prospect on each side of the ball that new coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff would love to get before the 2018 recruiting cycle comes to an end.
WR Jacob Copeland
The particulars: Copeland (6 feet, 192 pounds) is from Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia.
The skinny: Copeland is a four-star prospect who is among the top-10 receivers nationally; he also is a top-75 prospect overall. He has Tennessee among his final four, joined by Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M; it is almost a certainty that Copeland will end up somewhere in the SEC. Tennessee got involved late with Copeland, but his strong relationship with Pruitt gives the Vols a legit shot. Copeland made his official visit to Knoxville on December 15, and while many consider Alabama and Florida as the leaders, do not downplay the relationship between Pruitt and Copeland. Landing Copeland would be the highlight of the Vols’ 2018 class.
CB Olaijah Griffin
The particulars: Griffin (6 feet 0, 170 pounds) is from Mission Viejo, (Calif.) High, in the L.A. suburbs.
The skinny: Griffin is a four-star prospect who is one of the top five corners in the country as well as a top-50 prospect overall. He was committed to UCLA for five months before decommitting December 30 — two weeks after his visit to Knoxville. Griffin seemingly has no issues playing college ball across the country from his hometown, and is expected to visit Auburn and Michigan as well as USC over the next three weeks; he may visit Florida, too. If Pruitt and his staff are able to land a talent like Griffin this late in the game, it would speak to the level of recruiters now in Knoxville.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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