Tennessee fans that were fired up following the Volunteers’ strong close to the 2020 recruiting cycle were not alone. The program’s athletic director is right there with them.

If you missed it, Jeremy Pruitt’s program rose in the recruiting rankings to No. 10 nationally after signing Alabama athlete Dee Beckwith and Florida receiver Malachi Wideman on Wednesday. Equally important, Tennessee kept Beckwith from signing with Florida and Wideman from signing with Ole Miss.

The Vols also remain in the mix to add five-star running back Zach Evans, who went unsigned on National Signing Day.

The strong close to the 2020 recruiting cycle comes after the Vols won their final six games of the season, including the Gator Bowl against Indiana in comeback fashion.

During Tennessee’s 2020 National Signing Day celebration event on Wednesday evening, Phillip Fulmer took the mic and made a strong statement to the fans in attendance.

“The Vols are back,” Fulmer declared. “Before long, we’ll be taking a bite out of everybody we play’s ass.”

Check it out below, courtesy of Marshall Hughes, Sports Director of ABC’s Channel 6 in Knoxville:

Don’t just take Fulmer’s word for it, as many around the nation are starting to recognize the momentum being built on Rocky Top under Pruitt. While it may be a bit premature to say Tennessee is “back” at this time, there are many believing the Vols are well on their way to accomplishing that goal thanks in part to the recruiting class just signed by the program.