Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge: Storylines for Tennessee fans
The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by adidas will take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on June 25, and with 100 of the top prospects from the 2020 and 2021 classes in attendance many college programs and their fan bases are going to be keenly interested in the event’s outcome. One of those programs is Tennessee. Below are three reasons why.
1. A pair of 2021s worth watching
The Vols have been selective about recruiting in the state over the past few cycles since Jeremy Pruitt’s arrival on Rocky Top, but two of the Volunteer State’s top prospects for the class of 2021 will be in attendance in Atlanta, and both appear like early priorities for the Vols. The state’s No. 1 player, Rivals100 tight end Hudson Wolfe, was recently on campus in Knoxville and his combination of blocking and receiving ability makes him an ideal fit in Tennessee’s offense. Wolfe’s performance could got a long way toward cementing his status as the top player in the state and what he says about his recruitment will also be worth watching closely.
Also in attendance will be 2021 four-star linebacker Junior Colson, another early prime target for the Vols. Colson has burst onto the radar this spring and could really help his stock with a strong performance as well.
2. Can Bailey earn his fifth star?
Tennessee quarterback commit Harrison Bailey will be making his third straight appearance at the Five-Star Challenge, a rarity for a player at any position, let alone quarterback. Bailey has been a fixture in the Rivals100 for the entire rankings cycle, but continues to come up just short when it comes to earning his fifth star. Can he finally get over the hump with a strong showing in Atlanta?
Last year, Bailey helped his team win the tournament championship while splitting time with eventual Auburn signee Bo Nix, who earned his fifth star thanks to his showing. Will Bailey follow the same path? The Vols recruiting class could use the bump in the rankings and Bailey is looking to check off one of the final remaining boxes on his high school resume.
3. Will a five-star tight end tip his hand?
Tennessee is currently in the running for not one but two five-star tight ends in Darnell Washington and Arik Gilbert. The two elite prospects have both visited Rocky Top multiple times and Gilbert is both close friends and teammates with the aforementioned Bailey. Because both are elite national-level talents, several of other heavy hitters are involved with both, including Alabama, Georgia and several others. So are the Vols in a position to land one or perhaps both? What they say during media availability will be watched closely, especially since neither regularly talks with reporters.