Tennessee’s 2018 national signing class left much to be desired, but apparently head coach Jeremy Pruitt is getting an early jump on next year’s class.
The Vols earned a commitment from four-star 2019 offensive guard Jackson Lampley, an in-state prospect, who announced his decision on Thursday via Twitter.
“I’m so excited right now,” Lampley told 247Sports after his announcement. “Tennessee has always been my dream school. I grew up a huge fan and having my dad play there, it’s just a dream come true.”
The lineman’s father, Brad Lampley, is a former Tennessee offensive lineman who was a member of former head coach and current athletic director Phillip Fulmer’s first recruiting class. He received an offer from the Vols’ previous coaching regime, but wanted to delay his commitment until after meeting with Pruitt and his staff.
“After meeting with Coach Pruitt and [offensive line Coach Will] Friend and the rest of the staff, I just really felt that Tennessee was home to me more so than any other program I’ve visited,” Lampley said. “I just felt like after the visit in January, there’s just nowhere else I can see myself going to other than Tennessee.
“To be honest [the coaching staff] is a lot like our staff at MBA. That’s one of the biggest things about them. They want to change the culture of the program over there. Yeah, they’re going to be really strict but they’re doing it because they think they can bring the program back to the way it was – frankly when my dad was playing there in the late 90s – and I’ve got a lot of confidence that this staff will be able to do it.”
Lampley received offers from 19 teams including Auburn, Penn State, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
The Nashville native ranks as the No. 11 offensive guard, No. 16 player from the Volunteer State and No. 296 overall prospect for the 2019 national recruiting cycle, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Tennessee missed out on several prospects during National Signing Day on Wednesday and finished with a No. 20 overall ranking in the 247Sports Team Composite.
During his press conference, Pruitt noted the difficulty of developing relationships with recruits during the previous cycle, having only been on the job since December.
Clearly, the Vols are off to a better start with next year’s class with commitments from Lampley and four-star athlete Te’Cory Couch.