Upon his arrival on Rocky Top, one of Jeremy Pruitt’s early goals as Tennessee’s coach was to mend fences in the Memphis area. The talent-rich west end of the state had been largely ignored by the previous couple of Tennessee coaches but given Pruitt’s ties to the SEC and his experience as an elite recruiter, he knew just how important Memphis would be to growing and developing his Volunteer program.

Two of Pruitt’s early signees from the area included Jeremy Banks and Jerome Carvin in the 2018 signing class and was followed by Eric Gray and Melvin McBride in the 2019 signing class. Safe to say that trend has continued into the latest recruiting cycle as the Vols reached into the Memphis area late Tuesday night to beat several SEC programs for a trio of Whitehaven prospects that all project to play defense at the next level.

First came four-star linebacker Bryson Eason, the No. 17 inside linebacker prospect in the nation according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, then four-star linebacker Martavius French, the No. 15 inside linebacker prospect in the nation according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, then finally, three-star Tamarion McDonald, the No. 34 outside linebacker prospect in the nation according to 247Sports Composite Rankings offered his pledge to the Vols.

French had been committed to Arkansas until last weekend and McDonald had been committed to Mississippi State until Tuesday evening.

Following the trio of commitments, Tennessee is up to 17 total commitments for the 2020 recruiting cycle — 10 of which are rated as four-stars by 247Sports. The Vols currently have the nation’s No. 20 recruiting class committed with the Early Signing Period two months away.

If that news wasn’t exciting enough for Tennessee fans, Pruitt and his staff continued to recruit the area as four-star offensive lineman Chris Morris, a recent Texas A&M commit, is still on Tennessee’s radar as well as four-star defensive lineman Omari Thomas and four-star offensive lineman Marcus Henderson. Neither Thomas or Henderson are currently committed to a school at the next level.

Thomas, who visited Tennessee with the Whitehaven trio just a few weeks ago, is taking an official visit to Rocky Top this weekend for the South Carolina game. Thomas is rated as the nation’s No. 9 defensive tackle and the state’s No. 3 overall recruit in the 2020 recruiting cycle by 247Sports Composite Rankings.