Earlier today, the recruiting world got another round of tough news. The NCAA Division 1 Council announced they would extend the recruiting dead period out until July 31st, which effectively ends all Summer recruiting activities.
The dead period was previously slated to end on June 31st.
SI's Nick Selbe wrote, “The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”
Obviously, this impacts all teams, but in regards to Tennessee it takes away an early opportunity with the 2022 class, as well as a chance to get several key targets back on campus.
Tennessee continues to make a strong push at five-stars Smael Mondon and Amarius Mims, but it is widely considered that the Vols need to get both back on campus to make a serious move in their recruitments.
Mims is not set to announce until later in the fall, but Mondon could make an announcement in June, but that timeframe is not set in stone.
Tennessee remains in heated races for out of state prospects like Payton Page, Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, Ryan Barnes, Diego Pounds, and several others who the Vols would love to get back on campus to attempt to seal the deal.
With 24 prospects committed in the 2021 class, Tennessee has a number of guys that could still commit and allow them to shuffle the deck, but the real opportunity is with the 2022 class.
Tennessee will miss an opportunity to host several prospects that could headline their 2022 class and evaluate multiple other potential targets.
QB Ty Simpson remains the top priority for the class, and he is a guy who could make an early decision, but he has trips in mind, and he will still plan to take them. The in-state crop is littered with talented for the class, such as Isaiah Horton, Dallan Hayden, Taylor Groves, etc. Tennessee remains serious competitors for several other prospect from the tri-star state, and they could have a chance to lock in early commitments, but now it could cause these guys to wait and take other visits before doing anything.
This is an unprecedented time, and who knows when prospective student-athletes will be allowed back on campus, but for now it will not be anytime soon. Tennessee has been highly successful in the virtual world, but with players returning for voluntary workouts, coaches are going to have to start entering season mode very soon, and it is going to be difficult to balance the two worlds.