Tennessee Signs Six More Players, Bringing 2018 Class To 20

Two Are 4-Star Prospects, Four Come In With 3-Star Ratings

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - by special to The Chattanoogan.com

The Tennessee football program welcomed six more Vols on National Signing Day to increase its 2018 signing class to 20 newcomers.

"We're excited about the 20 young men that we've added to this class," Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt said at Wednesday afternoon's press conference.

"These guys are going to lay the foundation for the next four to five years. These are the guys that wanted to be a part of what we're trying to get done, and we're excited to have them."

The 2018 class features players from Tennessee (nine), Georgia (four), California (three), Florida, South Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

Pruitt and his staff signed 14 recruits, including seven early enrollees, during the Early Signing Period in December.

Here are the six Vols who signed on National Signing Day:

Trevon Flowers

Freshman, DB, 6-1, 185
Tucker, Ga. / Tucker HS

Composite Ranking: 3-star

Position Rank: No. 84 S
State Rank: No. 100 in GA

247 Sports: 3-star
Position Rank: No. 58 S
State Rank: No. 72 in GA

Rivals: 3-star

High School

·         Originally committed to play college baseball at the University of Kentucky

·         Took a three-year break from high school football to focus on baseball but played his fall 2017 senior season of football, starring at free safety for Tucker High School

·         Helped lead the Tigers to a 12-2 overall record and the Georgia Class 6A State semifinals as a senior in 2017

·         Three-sport star who also played basketball, earning GACA Class 6A North All-State honors for the 2016-17 season

·         Chose Tennessee over several Power 5 offers, including Clemson and Kentucky



Kurott Garland

Freshman, DL, 6-3, 250
Conyers, Ga. / Heritage HS

247 Sports: 3-star

Position Rank: No. 42 SDE
State Rank: No. 101 in GA

High School

·         2017 AJC Class 6A Honorable Mention All-State Defensive Lineman

·         2017 GSWA Class 6A Second Team All-State Defensive Lineman

·         Played in 12 games for Heritage High School and made 125 tackles, including 82 solo. He sacked opposing quarterbacks 12.5 times, caused one fumble and caught one interception

·         Led Heritage High School to the second round of the state playoffs


Emmit Gooden

JUCO – Junior, DL, 6-4, 305
Brownsville, Tenn. / Haywood HS / Independence C.C.

Composite Ranking: 4-star

National Rank: No. 17
Position Rank: No. 7 DT
State Rank: No. 4 in TN

ESPN: 4-star
National Rank: No. 37
Position Rank: No. 9 DT

247 Sports: 3-star
National Rank: No. 36
Position Rank: No. 10 DT
State Rank: No. 5 in TN

Rivals: 4-star
National Rank: No. 14


·         2017 NJCAA Second Team All-American

·         2017 Stats: 81 tackles, 6.5 TFL, one sack

·         2016 Stats: 55 tackles, 13.5 TFL, four sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery

·         Helped Independence C.C. finish the 2017 season ranked No. 5 nationally after finishing the year with a 9-2 overall record

·         Helped lead Independence C.C. to the Kansas Jayhawk Conference league title and its first-ever bowl victory with a 30-20 win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in the 2017 Midwest Bowl Classic

High School

·         Was a three-year starter at Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee

·         Career High School Stats (MaxPreps): 29 GP, 213 tackles, 81.0 TFL, 24.5 sacks

·         Named Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Class 4A Lineman award winner as a senior in 2015

·         Named 2015 All-West Tennessee Lineman of the Year

·         2015 TSWA Class 4A All-State selection

John Mincey

Freshman, DL, 6-4, 255
Homerville, Ga. / Clinch County HS

Composite Ranking: 3-star

Position Rank: No. 38 SDE
State Rank: No. 79 in GA

ESPN: 3-star
Position Rank: No. 69 DT
State Rank: No. 87 in GA

247 Sports: 3-star
Position Rank: No. 39 SDE
State Rank: No. 92 in GA

Rivals: 3-star
Position Rank: No. 40 SDE
State Rank: No. 68 in GA

High School

·         Named to Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) Class A (Public) All-State team in 2017

·         Named to Georgia Sports Writer's Association (GSWA) Class A (Public) All-State first-team defense in 2017

·         Collected Defensive Player of the Year honors from Region 2-A

·         Helped lead Clinch County to a 12-2 record and the GHSA Class A-Public State Championship in 2017, the program's seventh state title

·         Also played basketball for Clinch County

·         ESPN scouting report described Mincey as flashing "strong point of attack skills with ability to fire out, uncoil and shoot hands and use his reach to press blockers"

·         Held numerous Power Five offers and chose Tennessee over Arkansas, South Carolina and Auburn among several others


JJ Peterson

Freshman, LB, 6-2, 231
Moultrie, Ga. / Colquitt County HS

Composite Ranking: 4-star

National Rank: No. 48
Position Rank: No. 3 OLB
State Rank: No. 7 in GA

ESPN: 4-star
National Rank: No. 44
Position Rank: No. 1 OLB
State Rank: No. 7 in GA

247 Sports: 4-star
National Rank: No. 74
Position Rank: No. 8 OLB
State Rank: No. 8 in GA

Rivals: 4-star
National Rank: No. 71
Position Rank: No. 5 OLB
State Rank: No. 9 in GA

High School

·         Selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl

·         Competed at the Nike The Opening Finals

·         Named to the All-USA Georgia First Team by USA Today

·         Named to Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) Class 7A All-State first team as a senior in 2017

·         Named to Georgia Sports Writer's Association (GSWA) Class 7A All-State second-team defense in 2017

·         Was an GSWA Class 7A All-State Honorable Mention as a junior in 2016

·         Led Colquitt County High School to the GHSA Class 7A state championship game in 2017

·         Totaled 199 tackles (28 TFLs) and 14.5 sacks in three seasons at Colquitt County

·         Had a career-year in 2017, making 110 tackles, including 19 TFLs and five sacks, while forcing one fumble and recovering three loose balls

·         During his junior campaign, he totaled 59 tackles and 6.5 sacks

·         Made 30 tackles as a sophomore, including four TFLs and three sacks

·         Selected Tennessee over offers from several schools, including Alabama, Auburn and Florida

Cedric Tillman

Freshman, WR, 6-3, 205
Las Vegas, Nev. / Bishop Gorman HS

247 Sports: 3-star

Position Rank: No. 180 WR
State Rank: No. 10 in NV

High School

·         Played for national high school powerhouse Bishop Gorman during his junior and senior seasons

·         2017 Stats (MaxPreps): 14 GP, 37 catches, 774 yards, 7 TD

·         Helped lead Bishop Gorman to its third straight USA Today High School Football National Championship in 2016 after posting a 15-0 record and extending the school's win streak to 54 games

·         Helped lead Bishop Gorman to a pair of Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Class 4A State titles in 2016 and 2017

·         Earned second-team NIAA All-State honors as a senior in 2017

·         Earned first-team All-Southwest League honors as a senior in 2017


(Contact Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)

Randy Smth: My Mistakes And Grant Williams

At the ripe old age of 66 years old, soon to be 67, I find myself making more mistakes than I used to make; many more. In a column I wrote last week about the Howard-Riverside rivalry, I referred to one of the key figures on the great Riverside squads as Sylvester Davenport. Davenport actually was a star at Soddy-Daisy in the early 1970s. The 6'-7" player to whom I was thinking ... (click for more)

Six Area Division II Teams Advance To Final Eight

Six area Division II basketball teams have advanced to the final eight of the TSSAA Division II Class A and Class AA basketball tournament which will be played on Friday and Saturday at host schools.  The Baylor boys are the only team to earn a home game and will host Ensworth on Saturday.  McCallie will travel to MUS in another Class AA game and CCS will play at Northpoint ... (click for more)

City Files Petition To Turn Confederate Cemetery Over To Sons Of The Confederacy

The city of Chattanooga has filed a petition in Chancery Court asking that management of the Confederate Cemetery be turned over to the Sons of the Confederacy. The Sons of the Confederacy, a group that has long taken care of the cemetery, joined in the petition. The cemetery is located by the UTC campus. It is beside the Citizens Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery on the old ... (click for more)

Candidate For County Commission District 5 Lives In District 7; Election Office Says Geter Plans To Move Prior To August Election

A candidate who qualified to run for County Commission District 5 currently lives just across the line in District 7. The election office said Katherlyn Geter advised that she plans to move into District 5 prior to the Aug. 2 general election. She is running against District 5 incumbent Greg Beck in the May Democratic primary. Ms. Geter lives in a neighborhood near Silverdale ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Me & Billy Graham

For several years in my life it seemed my bad arm and I spent more time at Mayo Clinic than we did in my own house. I hold the record for the most different infections in an elbow at the same time, and my medical charts never had my name on them, instead I was simply, “Mr. Complication.” One morning in particular I spent a horrible three hours in the “nerve conduction lab” with ... (click for more)