As we progress through the recruiting dead period, many top prospects are making their college decisions in the near future. Tennessee is still pursuing a number of prospects and will be looking to attain their commitments in the near future.
- The biggest news of the week came with the commitment of inside linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. He is currently ranked as the #5 inside linebacker in the 2015 recruiting class. As a very athletic linebacker, Kirkland will have to opportunity to come in early (early enrollee) and compete for the starting job immediately.
- Tennessee also received a huge commitment from running back Kendall Bussey. He has a great combination of speed and power and can catch balls out of the backfield efficiently. The need for Tennessee to bring in another running back is now greatly reduced. This means that the Vols can tone down their efforts for Bryce Love a bit. Love is still a Vol target but has moved from the need to want category.
- The other big news circulating is that of top targets Kyle Phillips and Ugo Amadi. After cornerback Ugo Amadi decommitted from Ole Miss last week, both he and Phillips have been exploring the advantages of committing to either Tennessee or LSU. It is very possible that both prospects will sign as a package deal. Defensive end Kyle Phillips is currently slated to make his decision on January 3rd.
- In addition to Jocquez Bruce visiting the Vols for a bowl practice this week, Camion Patrick visited a practice this week as well. Patrick is a former standout receiver from West High School in Knoxville. He had offers from Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss and had committed to the Vols before deciding to enroll at junior college (East Mississippi Community College). He is a 6' 2" 215 lb receiver who could be looking to become a preferred walk-on.
- Longtime commit defensive end Dylan Jackson decided to decommit from the Vols this week. He was a massive prospect that could've contributed on either the offensive or defensive lines. He is thought be be favoring LSU currently.
- This week walk-on running back Justus Pickett left the team making the need for the Vols to get one or two more running backs in this recruiting class even greater.
- Alvin Kamara officially signed with the Vols this week and will be arriving on campus soon as an early enrollee. His added depth at running back will be greatly appreciated.
- In some NC-SC Shrine Bowl news, Shy Tuttle was named Alpha Dog of the practices and Rocky Reid has been turning heads all week, with many coaches saying that he doesn't look like he is far behind teammate Johnny Frasier, a 5-star running back according to 247Sports, in ability.
- Tennessee also became the latest school to extend an offer to currently unranked 2016 defensive end Prince Tega. Tega just started learning football as he is originally from Nigeria, but is a monster physically coming in at 6' 8" 245 lbs and running a 4.61 forty in sneakers. After the release of his junior highlight tape he received 14 scholarship offers in 48 hours.
- Tennessee also added to the impressive offer list of versatile 2016 offensive lineman Parker Boudreaux who can play guard, tackle, or tight end thus leading to him being ranked at a different position on many different recruiting sites.
- The Vols are currently still in the lead for Sheriron Jones, the #8 dual-threat quarterback in the nation, following his decommitment from Florida. This means that the Vols could bring in three quarterback commits this year, which could cause one or more of them to have to change positions.
Update by: Rico Lavosky