Aug 31, 2013; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones greets fans during the Vol Walk at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

National Signing Day 2014: Grades and Analysis for Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers were the biggest surprise this year on the recruiting trail as they finished with the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings despite a five-win season.

Butch Jones was on a rampage on the recruiting trail since he was hired and did a lot of the heavy lifting before the 2013 season began, but he didn’t let up as he kept adding recruits to a class that finished with a whopping 33 recruits.

Of the 33 to sign with the Vols, 14 are already enrolled in classes which will accelerate their development and put them in a position to make an immediate impact in 2014. 16 of the commits are four-stars and 17 are three-star recruits and you can view the entire Volunteers’ class here.

The headliners for the class are Jalen Hurd, Josh Malone, Dillon Bates and Todd Kelly, Jr. Each of these are expected to make a big contribution as freshmen and be the face of the rebuilding effort in Knoxville.

Jones and his staff did a nice job of bringing in junior college talent like Von Pearson, Dontavius Blair and Chris Weatherd to step right in and fill a spot left open by a senior graduating.

The only real knock I have for this class is they didn’t land a quarterback, but they did sign two four-star arms last cycle, so it’s not bad they didn’t sign one this year, but it’ll be imperative they find an elite signal-caller for 2015.

Considering this team won only five games last year and finished with a top-seven class is nothing short of remarkable in the uber-competitive world of recruiting in the SEC. Look for Tennessee to be inside the top 10 classes again next year due to another strong group of in-state talent.

There is only one possible grade you can give Tennessee for 2014 when all is said and done and that’s an A+

Tags: National Signing Day 2014 Sec Tennessee Volunteers

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