MORE: Spotlight on the SEC: How Georgia and Alabama Embark on Recruitment
Harrison Bailey hesitated a great deal until the minute he announced his commitment. Michigan and Tennessee have done good business for the four-star quartet of Marietta, Georgia, but Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee flights received news that they wanted Thursday afternoon.
Once Pruitt took over for Butch Jones Last December, Bailey immediately became a priority for the Flights and this played a role in his decision.
"I went there seven or eight times and most came after Pruitt coach took office," Bailey said. "I had the offer of the old [coaching] staff, but I have not heard much from them. As soon as coach Pruitt arrived on the spot, he told me that he wanted me to quarterback his team.
"I knew that I was a priority of this point. At each visit I have made since, I felt wanted and they already gave me the impression of being part of the team. It was important to me. "
Mr. Pruitt and the Knoxville staff were not the only ones recruiting Bailey. His teammate in Tennessee in 2019, Ramel Keyton, also remained in his ear.
"Oh yes, Ramel begged me to go with him to Tennessee. He stayed on me. It's nice to have a connection with someone like him when I arrive there, so it will be nice to be able to play together again.
Bailey must now recruit. Pruitt was assured that Bailey knew that he would be an additional recruiter if he chose Tennessee.
"Coach Pruitt always said that in the 2020 class, he wanted me and that he wanted me to recruit guys with whom I want to play. He told me to let them know who I wanted to get and they will help me build this class.
"I really want to have offensive linemen and wide receivers. I have my teammate Arik Gilbert, the wide receivers Porter Rooks and Joshua Downs and a few others already in mind. I will recruit for sure. "
Having good recruitment classes is the lineage of all programs. Bailey knows that Tennessee does not have the alignment that allows him to compete at the level he expects, but this appealed to the appellant Peach State.
"I'm very good at starting from scratch and building something," Bailey said. "In Michigan, they already have an established program, but in Tennessee, I can help develop this program.
"I think I can help coach Pruitt build a power plant. I want to help rebuild the program. That's what I want to be part of. "
Bailey is totally convinced that Pruitt is on the right track.
Tyson Helton The offensive coordinator / coach Pruitt hired, but he left for western Kentucky earlier this week. Many thought it could hurt Tennessee with Bailey, but this opening has already been discussed. Bailey loved Helton, but as long as Pruitt is in the lead, Bailey wants to be part of the program.
"I had a little talk with my family when we heard that Coach Helton was leaving, but that did not really bother me. Coach Pruitt spoke about it right out and it suits me.
"I have full confidence in the Pruitt coach. Since I announced my commitment, he has contacted me daily and we have excellent relationships.
"I trust Pruitt coach and staff. I think he's recruited a star staff and that great things are going to happen there. That's really what happened. I trust Pruitt and I feel that I can succeed.