The Tennessee Volunteers watched three players decommit from the program within 24 hours, and now Butch Jones’ team is trending downward.
Things are not getting any easier for Butch Jones in Knoxville.
In a year when the Volunteers were supposed to contend for the SEC crown, they’ll sit idly by with an 8-4 record, watching the conference title game from afar once again.
And now the troubles have made their way to the recruiting trail.
Within an hour on Tuesday evening, Tennessee lost three commits from its 2017 recruiting class: 4-star athlete C.J. Cotman, 4-star defensive tackle Breyon Gaddy and his brother, 3-star defensive tackle Brandon Gaddy.
Cotman released a statement regarding the situation within the same hour that the news broke about the Gaddy brothers leaving the Vols’ class.
“I’d like to thank the coaches and fans of the University of Tennessee for the opportunity and the amount of love [they’ve shown], but after discussing things with my family, we feel it’s safe that I decommit from UT and reopen my recruitment.”
It would appear Cotman left Tennessee’s class on his own, but a source close to the situation told Campus Insiders that Cotman’s offer was pulled because the Vols are turning their attention toward JUCO prospects. That they want “experienced players, not freshmen, coming in and starting.”
Breyon Gaddy, who is ranked as the No. 23 defensive tackle in the nation, told Campus Insiders he questioned the Tennessee coaches’ loyalty, which was a huge reason why he and his brother backed off their pledges.
All is not right in Knoxville, and that turmoil is starting to manifest on the recruiting trail. The Vols now sit at No. 10 in the 2017 recruiting class rankings.
Note: Scout rankings, ratings and photos used in this article.