A typical major-conference college football recruiting class includes between 20 and 30 players. Tennessee is apparently willing to spend a substantial of that allotment on players from a single high school.
According to IMG Academy coach Kevin Wright, Butch Jones and the Volunteers have offered scholarships to 20(!!!) of his players.
— Kevin Wright (@CoachWrightIMG) February 26, 2016
Granted, IMG Academy is not a typical high school, it’s a sports-first institution designed to crank out college athletes. But still, 20 players from the same school is pretty incredible.
That list includes some pretty big names. Dylan Moses (whose coach spelled his name wrong) is the nation’s top-ranked Class of 2017 recruit according to ESPN and second on 247 Sports, the best of a whopping 14 IMG players in the ESPN Junior 300. Since Tennessee only offered 13 players from the Class of 2017, there’s presumably one highly ranked IMG player sitting at home jealous all his teammates for offers and he didn’t.
We’ll have to wait and see how many of these players end up in Knoxville, but it looks like Tennessee could have a very IMG-heavy roster in coming years. It’s a pretty clever strategy to offer a bunch of guys from the same school and maybe they all talk each other into committing, while building the foundation of a pipeline that could extend into the future. Tennessee would presumably love to become the go-to destination for IMG players, and that possibility may even be worth offering some players you wouldn’t be interested in in a vacuum.
And as for the 20 players offered, it looks if they go to Tennesee they’ll have plenty of friends on the team from day one.