After landing nine commitments in a 48 hour span, it’s safe to say Tennessee is on a recruiting hot streak. Of course eight prospects committed during the Vols’ annual “Orange Carpet Day” event and Alabama legacy recruit Kivon Bennett followed suit Monday by giving his pledge to the school. For the first time since the big recruiting weekend, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones spoke about his program’s current momentum on the recruiting trail.

“It has caused a lot of momentum — a lot of momentum, a lot of positive energy,” Jones said Wednesday afternoon according to Wes Rucker of 247Sports. “And I think it speaks to the positive energy and the excitement we have surrounding our program. With what we have have here now, what we’ve built and what we’ll continue to build, individuals want to be a part of our program now. They want to be a part of this.”

Now with 18 total commitments lined up for the 2017 recruiting class, the Vols have more commits lined up than any other school in the SEC.

According to Jones, it isn’t just the hard work of the coaches and support staff that deserve the credit, but the current players themselves that have stepped up and helped sell the university to potential prospects. While the current leaders on the roster have helped build the team into an SEC favorite, they clearly want to be the foundation for many years of success on Rocky Top.

“Our current players have been our greatest ambassadors,” Jones said. “They’ve been the ones that have really taken ownership in our program. They’ve helped so much in the recruiting process. Recruiting is nothing more than a relationship business and building trust in those relationships, and I’m excited about our class and really our team, because their investment has been great.”

Not only have the current players been invaluable this summer but their recruitment also played a pivotal role in the school landing JUCO five-star defensive lineman Jonathan Kongbo and Atlanta area safety Nigel Warrior among others last signing day.

With Tennessee now having one of the most experienced teams in the SEC coming into this season, it’s clear the Vols are pitching to prospects the opportunity to fill the void that will likely be left next offseason when several current players head to the NFL.