Posted: 6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 20, 2013
By Brad Shepard
The new Tennessee coaching staff took 2015 athlete Jaylond Woods to the 50-yard line at Neyland Stadium last week to offer him a scholarship. Less than a week later, the Lenoir City (Tenn.) prospect made that the second most memorable moment of the week, committing to Butch Jones and the Vols at the Orange and White Game on Saturday.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound all-purpose standout marked the second commitment for the 2015 recruiting class in the past three days for the Vols, joining fellow local star Zach Stewart. Stewart -- from Coalfield High School in Corryton, Tenn. -- projects as an offensive lineman at UT. As for Woods, his spot remains up in the air. He's known for packing a big hitting punch in such a small package and plays safety, running back and wide receiver for the Panthers.
Quite simply, he's an electrifying play-maker, among the best in the state.
Tennessee's offer was Woods' second last week. Clemson pulled the trigger earliest, and he was also receiving a lot of early interest from Ole Miss and Ohio State, among several others. But the longtime UT fan pretty much knew where he was going as soon as the Vols pulled the trigger.With a huge Orange & White Game crowd and a ton of recruiting momentum, the Vols kept the momentum going Saturday with its second commitment in three days for the 2015 class in local athlete Jaylond Woods.
Woods is the second Lenoir City prospect in as many years to commit to the Vols. Last year, wide receiver Camion Patrick pledged to UT early in the recruiting process, but he wasn't able to make it into school because of grades. He currently is enrolled at East Mississippi Community College and plans on joining his cousin in orange & white as a junior in '15 when Woods makes it to campus.
If you want to know more about Woods -- who professes to run a 4.5 40-yard dash -- here's GoVols247's story from a few days ago that discusses UT offering him on the 50-yard line. All you have to do is take one look at his sophomore highlight reel to know he's a pretty special player. This is truly an exceptional set of plays for a young man with two years left in high school. He plays much, MUCH bigger than he is.
Woods and Stewart will almost definitely be two of the state's top seven players in next year's class, another strong one in the state that also includes offensive lineman Drew Richmond, cornerback Rico McGraw and linebacker Josh Smith -- all of which hold UT offers at this early juncture. Webb School linebacker Brant Mitchell is the third of the local trio from '15 who already have Vols offers. He is a heavy Tennessee lean, too.
Again, we'll stress that this recruiting momentum at this early juncture is simply unprecedented at UT. The Vols already have nine commitments for this year's class -- a consensus top-five class nationally -- and now they have two for next year.