Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions here . In this edition, we discuss Tennessee, its defensive back haul in the Class of 2018 and how it fits into the roster.
Trevon Flowers — A 1-man recruiting class
Tennessee didn’t add one cornerback in the Class of 2018. At least the Vols have Trevon Flowers, the next-best thing. He played safety for Tucker (Ga.) High School his senior season but has the ability to play cornerback if put there. Wherever he ends up will likely be fine since the Vols didn’t sign any other safeties, either.
Cornerbacks coach Terry Fair said at the Tennessee Theatre during the National Signing Day celebration that Flowers has the tools of a successful defensive back.
“He’s got the speed and he’s got the quickness,” Fair said. “He’s got the mentality you want in a defensive back and the competitiveness and the will.
“Now we’ve got to develop him. He’s got the two best defensive back coaches in the country that he gets to work with every single day. We look forward to developing and mentoring him along the way.”
This is the 6-foot, 185-pound Flowers’ greatest advantage in choosing the Vols over the likes of Clemson, which was in hot pursuit, on Signing Day. Coach Jeremy Pruitt is one of the best defensive backs coaches in the country. It’s how he made a name for himself. Sure, he’ll be focused on the whole team now, but Pruitt will surely keep a close eye on the secondary development.
Flowers carried a 3-star rating in the 247Sports composite — likely due to lack of overall tape and not being on the camp circuit last summer.
Flowers stopped playing football heading into eighth grade and didn’t play again until his senior year. He won the starting safety spot and thrived. There is a good chance there would be four stars next to his name had he played all four years of high school.
Pruitt said during his most recent news conference Flowers doesn’t have a lot of experience — but that can be a good thing because he doesn’t have any bad habits. His baseball background gives him some interesting attributes, as well. He should be able to naturally track a ball in the air and should have some great hand-eye coordination.
The coaching staff hopes Flowers can develop the way they believe he can. He could very well be needed by his second season on campus.
How Trevon Flowers fits in the secondary
Tennessee loses its four most experienced cornerbacks in the 2017 season. Starting safety Micah Abernathy will be a senior in 2018. If Todd Kelly Jr. receives a medical redshirt, he’ll only have one season of eligibility remaining.
There isn’t a lot of depth in the secondary, either next season or 2019. Nigel Warrior will likely lock down a safety position as a junior in 2018. Juniors Marquill Osborne and Baylen Buchanan, along with sophomores Shawn Shamburger and Maleik Gray, will factor into playing time, as well. Junior wide receiver Tyler Byrd seems like a prime candidate to switch to cornerback.
Flowers is likely too raw to step into any type of major role next season. He’ll be better off learning the finer points of the position first. He’ll be counted on in the near future, though.
Scouting the secondary in the Class of 2019
Tennessee’s biggest position of need in this recruiting cycle is defensive back. The Vols absolutely cannot go through another cycle with only one defensive back commit.
The in-state talent is there, which is great for the Vols. Woodi Washington, Wesley Walker and Adonis Otey play in the middle of the state. They’ll garner national attention on the recruiting trail, but being only three hours away gives the Vols a nice advantage.
If Pruitt and company could grab two of those three and fill in the rest with some area prospects and a few fliers, it’ll be an excellent defensive back class that would get the position group back on track.
In case you’ve missed any in SEC County’s position breakdown series.
- Tennessee coordinator on unsettled QB situation: ‘We’ll find guys we can win with’
- Roster breakdown: Jeremy Banks gives Vols big RB they desired
- Tennessee roster breakdown: WR Alontae Taylor going to stretch field, pose threat
- Early enrollee OL might push for playing time by impressing coaches
- Tennessee added size, depth on defensive line to improve run defense
- Vols have their defensive cornerstone in LB JJ Peterson
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here .
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