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Ask Farrell: Should Harrison Bailey add a fifth star?

The final Rivals rankings for the 2020 class will be revealed next week, and there are plenty of hot topics and debates among our recruiting analysts.

There was a massive opportunity for four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey to earn his fifth star during All-American Bowl week in San Antonio but he did not participate because of a wrist injury.

Still, the Tennessee signee from Marietta, Ga., remains in the five-star discussion because of his late-season performances after the last round of rankings were released and it’s hard to argue Bailey should not be considered for that highest of ranking.

Rated as the second-best pro-style quarterback in the class, Bailey finished his senior season completing nearly 70 percent of his passes for 4,674 yards with 50 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for three scores.

An outstanding receiving group led by five-star tight end Arik Gilbert and three-star Michigan State signee Ricky White, but Bailey has proven at numerous events over the years that he’s a talented quarterback.


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Something else to consider is that Bailey should have an opportunity for early playing time in Knoxville since the quarterback play this past season was up-and-down to say the least. The Volunteers averaged about 24 points per game and starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano threw only 16 touchdown passes.

The only five-star quarterback ever signed by Tennessee was James Banks out of Indianapolis Ben Davis in the 2002 class, the first year in Rivals' history. Other than that, the highest-rated quarterbacks ever signed by the Vols were Jonathan Crompton and Guarantano.

So, if Bailey does get his fifth star he would arguably be the best-ever quarterback to sign with the Vols.

In this recruiting cycle, the only five-star quarterbacks are Alabama signee Bryce Young from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei and Clemson signee D.J. Uiagalelei from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, both of whom performed well during All-American Bowl week.

We ask Rivals National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell if he thinks there’s an argument to be made for Bailey to join that five-star list?


“A case can certainly be made for Bailey because we got to evaluate him numerous times since our last rankings cycle with his run in the playoffs. It would have been great to see him in an all-star game, but now we look at the overall body of work.

"Bailey has been on the radar since middle school and has had some ups and downs, but he’s emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in this class with size, arm talent and improved ability to extend the play. A discussion about his fifth star occurred the last time we met and there were only a few holdouts.

"And what about now? Find out next week.”