Tennessee was on the wrong side of a 45-7 blowout at Alabama over the weekend and continued to lose on Sunday.
Four-star wide receiver TJ Sheffield, an in-state prospect for the 2019 national recruiting cycle, announced his decommitment from the Vols via Twitter. The Spring Valley native provided an explanation for his decision, adding that it “does not mean that Tennessee is not in the running for one of my top options.”
Here’s an excerpt from his tweet:
“I would like to thank Coach Jones, Coach Thigpen, Coach Beard and the Tennessee Football Family for their involvement early on in my recruitment,” Sheffield added. “After visiting other colleges, I have come to realize that I need to step back and take a deeper look at what college I plan to attend during my college experience.”
Sheffield currently ranks as the No. 39 wide receiver, No. 10 player from the state of Tennessee and the No. 226 overall prospect for the 2019 national recruiting cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite.
The Vols currently have two remaining commitments for their 2019 class: four-star athlete Te’Cory Couch and four-star wide receiver Cameron Wynn.
The writing is on the wall. Prior to the season, Butch Jones defenders argued that Tennessee’s highly ranked recruiting class was enough of a reason to keep the coach, despite failing to meet expectations in 2016.
Though his termination now seems inevitable, athletic director John Currie continues to prolong it. Many expected Jones to be fired after the Georgia blowout, which obviously didn’t happen. Fans then expected the delayed decision to be due to the program’s unwillingness to send an interim into Tuscaloosa against the nation’s top team.
But even after Saturday’s drubbing there were reports that Tennessee was going to let Jones coach next week in a very winnable game at Kentucky, which could be the deciding factor in whether he’ll be retained.
What else is their left to prove? Recruits have been decommitting since the Georgia loss and every remaining game is winnable for a competent interim coach.
Currie is quickly becoming as much of a negative threat to Tennessee football as the coach that he seems unwilling to fire, despite nearly everyone else thought it should have happened weeks ago.
Things won’t get better on Rocky Top until a change is made and so far, there’s no reason to believe it will happen any time soon.