Tennessee was able to sign 21 prospects during last week's early signing period, and several of these guys are worth mentioning in what they bring to this class.
Cornerstone Award- This is VR2's class MVP but with a twist. Last season, this award went to Wanya Morris because he was the guy that the class was built around. Well, the award will stay in the Peach State this year and goes to Harrison Bailey. Bailey committed to the Vols during his Junior season and was the building block of Tennessee's class. Tennessee's class would have taken a significant blow without Bailey in its ranks.
Josh Dobbs Award- There are a lot of prospects in this class that are deserving of this award that is given for the prospect most likely to succeed off the field, but this year's award goes to Omari Thomas. Thomas is a high character prospect that is already making an impact off of the field. For his latest birthday, Thomas charged admission to the party and then donated what he raised to charity. Thomas made the donations at his commitment announcement earlier this month, and the total was around 1,000 dollars.
Eric Berry Award- This award goes to the freshman most likely to make the earliest impact as a Freshman. We missed on this one last season, but we are back again. This year's Eric Berry Award winner is another fellow DB in Keshawn Lawrence. Lawrence has an extreme amount of potential to see the field early, and he thrives off of making big-time plays. We expect Lawrence's skillset to translate nicely into Jeremy Pruitt's defensive backfield.
Peyton Manning Award- Peyton Manning is the highest-drafted Vol of all-time. Manning was taken with the first pick of round one, and this award goes to the prospect who has the potential to be the highest-drafted out of this class. This one was tough because it could have been several prospects, but Harrison Bailey came away with this one as well. In today's world, Bailey has all of the makings of an NFL quarterback.
Coach's Award- There is a glue guy in every class, but this year was a little different. Cooper Mays and Tee Hodges worked behind the scenes for months for the Vols and never once wavered on their commitment status. These guys were high-profile in-state pulls for Tennessee and both were a tremendous asset for these coaches on the recruiting trail.
Usain Bolt Award- This award is usually pretty easy to choose, but the Vols added a lot of speed in this class, but no one as fast as four-star WR Jalin Hyatt. Hyatt ran a 4.27 40-yard dash on a laser time during a camp over the summer which earned him the 2020 Usain Bolt Award.
Most Impactful Commitment- Every commitment in this class has addressed a major need for the Vols, but in our opinion, none was bigger than Tyler Baron. Baron had been locked in with the Vols for a while, but other teams made him do his due diligence before making a public announcement during the early signing period. This was a key win for the Vols in their backyard.
The Bombshell Award- This award goes to the biggest surprise in the class, and this year it goes to Morven Joseph. Tennessee stayed the course with this one, but Joseph kept most people guessing until the end. It is always a big surprise to go into Florida and get a prospect that the home-state schools want, but that is exactly what Tennessee did to gain another disruptive edge rusher.
The Mauler Award- This award goes to the prospect that wreaks the most havoc up-front on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball. It was a tough decision with some of the guys that Tennessee brought in, but the award goes to Javontez Spraggins. Spraggins became a fan favorite after his commitment and people happened across a picture of him with a massive chain around his neck. Spraggins is a physical player that loves to impose his will on opposing players.
Unsung Hero- This one was easy, and it goes to Dominic Bailey. Bailey is a quiet kid by nature, and he went seemingly unnoticed in Tennessee's 2020 class, despite having a great season for national powerhouse St. Frances Academy. Bailey is a consensus four-star and will bring an immediate sense of competition to Tennessee's defensive front.