It is nearly September and, no, Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee have not stopped killing it on the 2021 recruiting trail.
On Monday afternoon, the Vols flipped offensive tackle prospect J’Marion Gooch of The King’s Academy in Seymour from Auburn to Tennessee. Gooch’s measurements are 6’8″ and 358 pounds. Future opposing SEC pass-rushers are saying their prayers as we speak.
Thank you to the Auburn Community, and coaching staff for all of the support during this process. After much thought and consideration, I have decided….@CoachTBarr @TKACoachSellers @CoachJPruitt @JimChaneyUT @CoachWillFriend @aspicer19 pic.twitter.com/gGT3EsRVcF
— Gooch (@GoochJmarion) August 31, 2020
Gooch had been an Auburn pledge for months, originally committing to the Tigers back in April. However, Pruitt, OL coach Will Friend and others never stopped applying the full-court press on the big man from South Knox. Gooch spoke of his recruitment in an interview with SI’s Volunteer Country:
Gooch said on how the Vols made him a priority, “they never stopped or gave up. They said they didn’t care if I was committed, they want me at Tennessee regardless.”
Gooch said on what that meant to him, “it meant a lot. That shows that I am really wanted, and they really don’t want to lose me.”
Gooch said he speaks the most with “Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt and Coach (Will) Friend.”
The massive prospect is rated as a consensus 3-star, the 790th overall player, 68th OT and 22nd-best in the state of Tennessee according to 247Sports Consensus. While those numbers may not jump off the page to the star-chasers, you can’t forget that you simply can’t coach size. And Gooch certainly has plenty of it to bring to the field. The development of Tennessee’s offensive line from 2018 to now has been extraordinary, so you can’t help but get excited over what this staff could do with Gooch.
It also never hurts to make Gus Malzahn sit in a corner, light up a Marlboro and watch his commits get taken away from him.
Gooch becomes Tennessee’s 25th commit for the 2021 class. With less than four months until the early signing period and the traditional date still in February, there is still plenty of time for movement in the class.