The Tennessee Volunteers sent a message to their SEC rivals after capping off a major week of recruiting with their sixth commitment for the 2014 high school recruiting class on Sunday. According to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com, linebacker Kevin Mouhon announced his intentions to join the Vols in 2014, becoming the 24th commitment of Tennessee’s No. 1-ranked class, according to Rivals.
The Vols have been stuck in rebuilding mode for the past several years and have fallen on desperate times. The hiring of Butch Jones in December has played out magnificently for Tennessee thus far, even before his first game as the team’s head coach.
Jones seems to have players buying into his selling points on the recruiting trail and will have continued success luring in players if the Vols produce on the field. Tennessee has benefited greatly from a new facility, the success and exposure of the Southeastern Conference and early playing time as selling points to players, despite a losing record and one of the poorest seasons in their program’s rich history.
But a winning product is the easiest selling point on the recruiting trail. Despite a tough schedule, which includes the annual matchups against Florida, Alabama and Georgia as well as a tough nonconference road matchup with Oregon, the Vols may be capable of capturing at least six wins and gaining bowl eligibility for the first time in three seasons.
Although no one is expecting an immediate turnaround, a winning season could be a sign of great things to come. This will further push Jones’ sale of the Tennessee turnaround, as players will see the positive changes being made.
Time will truly tell whether the Tennessee recruiting class will be able to hold on to a top-10 ranking on national signing day; however, their dominant SEC rivals should definitely take notice of their stellar week of recruiting. The Vols are laying the foundation for a meteoric rise back to dominance.
Alabama, Florida and other dominant programs are losing recruits to the team that finished with just one SEC win last season. Teams in the SEC should not take the Vols’ recruiting surge loosely, as the team looks to finally break the ceiling of mediocrity and restore the glory of Tennessee football.