Tennessee is on its way to signing another class that ranks in the Scout top 25.
Here's a look at who is officially a Volunteer:
Daniel Bitul, linebacker, Nashville (Tenn.) Christian School | Scout four-star linebacker
WHY BITULI CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“The way they run their offense and defense, the scheme in general, (I like). I think it’s a good fit for me ... I liked it all. I definitely enjoyed the environment.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS IN BITULI:
Bituli is a linebacker who will strike the opponent. He moves around and he may be most effective in high school on the blitz as a pass rusher. Could project as an inside or outside linebacker depending on scheme and coaches on the next level. Good size. Can really come down hill with some force. Better than average speed for a linebacker his size.
Jay Blakely, linebacker, Colquitt County (Ga.) High School | Scout three-star outside linebacker
WHY BLAKELY CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"Being on the field, running through the T, oh man, that would be a dream come true in so many ways. I watch highlights sometimes in my spare time. I get on there and look at some highlight videos and some hype tapes and I see the T and I see the guys running through the T and the crowd getting electrified and the D.J. is bumping and everybody is all on one page and getting turnt. Gosh, I’m ready to just feel that feeling."
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS IN BLAKELY:
Blakely, a Colquitt County High School standout who runs an estimated 4.79 40-yard-dash, is considered to be a versatile linebacker who can also disrupt the quarterback by coming off the edge.
Baylen Buchanan, cornerback, Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) High School | Scout three-star cornerback
WHY BUCHANAN CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I love it up there. Just the environment, I just love the vibe just from the people and the crowd at the games and just the academics. They just really care about you, you know?”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH BUCHANAN:
Buchanan is a smart cornerback. He plays the game at a good speed, he understands the position, and he more times than not puts himself in the right position. He has shown the ability to play on and off coverage, but to be more effective on the line of scrimmage, he needs to add strength. Ball skills are a strength. He is a very instinctive football player who plays with his eyes. He is a leader in the secondary.
Tyler Byrd, cornerback, Naples (Fla.) High School | Scout four-star cornerback
WHY BYRD CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"It was a very tough decision to make. After being to Rocky Top and seeing it and being committed to Miami for a year now, it was a very tough decision. To help with family and friends and being in both environments, I’m definitely going to Rocky Top.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH BYRD:
Byrd is a big-bodied defensive back. With him, he possesses outstanding size and is a versatile star. He flies around the field and plays with a sense of toughness. He's a great athlete who does a good job of changing direction and closing in on the ball. He plays with a very high football IQ.
Marquez Callaway, wide receiver, Warner Robins (Ga.) High School | Scout four-star athlete
WHY CALLAWAY CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I’d say the coaches and the environment, the people that I’m surrounded by. It’s different from a lot of schools that I’ve been to.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH CALLAWAY:
"Callaway could be a steal for Tennessee when all is said and done. He is highly rated on Scout and a top recruit, but his recruitment did not match up to his ranking. He is one of the top athletes in the country with the ability to do so much, not only on the football field, but on the basketball court too. Once he goes all in with football — watch out. His first love is basketball, but if he wants to be a professional athlete one day, football is his ticket."
Carlin Fils-Aime, running back, Naples (Fla.) High School | Scout four-star cornerback
WHY FILS-AIME CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I thought to myself that he and I could be really close. I took a visit there, and during my visit I spoke to (Tennessee) coach (Butch) Jones and in my head I thought, ‘Oh, he’s a really cool guy. I like him,’ so that kind of sealed the deal.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH FILS-AIME:
On film, Fils-Aime plays faster and shows more explosiveness than when he tests at a combine. Really flashes good quickness when he gets the ball or when he sees a hole opening up. Very little wasted effort or movement when he gets the football. Doesn't dance around, but sees the hole, hits it, and gets up the field. Nice burst when he makes a cut. Can be a three down back on the next level. Good on the perimeter and can make the big play.
Jeff George, wide receiver, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College | Scout four-star wide receiver
WHY GEORGE CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"I like the coaches a lot. I have a real genuine connection between all of them. I really enjoyed that a lot, and I feel like they're definitely coming up, and I think we're going to be in contention for an SEC championship next year."
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH GEORGE:
It does not take long to watch George and see what his strengths are. He has very good size, he is athletic, he is tough to jam at the line of scrimmage, and with his superior height he can be a real weapon inside the redzone. He can still work on getting off the line quickly, being more explosive out of his cuts, and running more precise routes. He is an offensive weapon with some versatility and the ability to create mismatches.
Jarrett Guarantano, quarterback, Bergen Catholic (N.J.) School | Scout four-star quarterback
WHY GUARANTANO CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I think I was very comfortable there. I think it was the place where football is the most important thing there, unlike any other country. I’m ready for the pressure.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH GUARANTANO:
Guarantano showed great knowledge of the offense, commands the huddle and makes good decisions. He is physically tough, and has good arm strength. He can make yards with his feet, but he is best with his arm. He is accurate throwing while in the pocket or on the run, and he understands how to read a defense. Guarantano is a tireless worker. During his senior season, he showed improved pocket presence and made quicker decisions.
Corey Henderson, wide receiver, Evangelical (La.) Christian Academy | Scout three-star wide receiver
WHY COREY HENDERSON CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I love the facilities. The facilities was just awesome, every part of it blew my mind. Talking to coach (Butch) Jones, it just felt like I was at home.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH COREY HENDERSON:
Henderson possesses the lateral mobility and consistently quick footwork to make defenders miss in tight spaces. He accelerates well and his frame could translate to outside receiver or slot, depending on how much weight he adds once he's in a college program.
D.J. Henderson, cornerback, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College | Scout four-star cornerback
WHY HENDERSON CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“It’s just the tradition and the atmosphere. It’s beautiful down there in Tennessee and I just didn’t think any other school would give me the same and it’s closer to home.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH HENDERSON:
It is not in a team's best interest to test Henderson's side of the field often as he's able to make plays on the football with regularity. He is athletic in coverage and has the ability to close quickly and adjust to make plays after the ball has been thrown. He is also a sound tackler, running to the football and closing quickly to make sure that backs do not get outside to pop off big runs. Has good size and speed. Should be a college impact.
Alexis Johnson, defensive tackle, Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College | Scout four-star defensive tackle
WHY JOHNSON CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"It's just a big-time program and that's what I'm looking for. They also have a huge stadium and a great atmosphere there for games.
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH JOHNSON:
He's a classic defensive tackle. Johnson has a massive body with his assets being power and strength. He's a load to handle, and also has great quickness off the ball. He's a massive 6-foot-4, 300 pound run-stuffing, space-eating defensive tackle with a ton of explosion and power. Johnson also has the elite athleticism to play all three downs, being very effective at rushing the passer as well.
Brandon Johnson, wide receiver, American Heritage (Fla.) High School | Scout three-star wide receiver
WHY BRANDON JOHNSON CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“They’re just top-class. Everything’s nice. There’s nothing bad about this place.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS IN BRANDON JOHNSON:
“He’s a really overall smooth athlete. He runs crisp routes, doesn’t really round off his routes too often. He’s just a good overall athlete with good size. He catches the ball away from his body. He’s a guy who doesn’t use his body too much to catch passes. He has good ball skills.”
Ryan Johnson, offensive tackle, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy | Scout four-star prospect
WHY RYAN JOHNSON CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“Tennessee is my home state and the University of Tennessee is my home school. I’ve been rooting for them ever since I was able to say ‘Go Big Orange.’ My first game was when I was 3... so I’ve been rooting for them my whole life. But, the most important thing about Tennessee is the fact that at Tennessee my family and friends can see me playing at Tennessee and they can come every Saturday and support me and watch me play, and that’s something the other schools can’t offer. I’m really excited about my decision.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH RYAN JOHNSON:
A big body who is aggressive and possesses good hands. Johnson ranks as Scout's No. 20 offensive tackle in the nation, No. 6 in the South Region and No. 2 in the Volunteer State behind teammate Bryce Mathews (Ole Miss commit).
Jonathan Kongbo, defensive end, Arizona Western Community College | Scout five-star defensive end
WHY KONGBO CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“I saw a lot of potential (in Tennessee). They have some solid players on the D-line. They’re a hard-working group, fundamentally sound. I just really envisioned myself playing along with them.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH KONGBO:
A big and strong defensive end, who has come into his own this season playing in the junior college ranks. He is quick enough to be a great edge rusher and sack the quarterback and rack up tackles behind the line of scrimmage and is strong enough to go to war in the trenches and hold up against a power run game. When he arrives at the ball carrier he delivers sound punishment. He is a program changing type of addition on the defensive front.
Nathan Niehaus, offensive tackle, Colerain (Ohio) High School | Scout three-star offensive tackle
WHY NIEHAUS CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“When I started talking to Tennessee, that was the first thing that popped in my mind. grandma and grandpa are going to be right down the street,” said Niehaus. “It will be just like my brother at Cincinnati. He can just come home whenever he wants.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH NIEHAUS:
A one-time tight end, Niehaus has a ton of positive attributes, beginning with flexibility and athleticism. He bends well so he wins the pad level battle. He fires out quickly after the snap while staying low and gets to the second level in a snap, and he has the athleticism and agility to pinpoint the defensive player and make a square, meaningful block.
Marquill Osborne, cornerback, Hough (N.C.) High School | Scout three-star cornerback
WHY OSBORNE CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“It’s definitely a great environment. I can tell fans really love Tennessee.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH OSBORNE:
Osborne is a prospect with a lot of natural ability. He has all the tools you are looking for in a cornerback at the next level. At 5-foot-11, Osborne plays much bigger. He has long arms and is very physical. The Hough standout does a nice job in both man and zone coverage. He gets in and out of his backpedal smoothly and quickly breaks on the football. Osborne is also very instinctive and has great ball skills. On top of being a really good cornerback, Osborne is also a very dangerous return man.
Austin Pope, tight end, Christian Academy (Tenn.) of Knoxville | Scout three-star tight end
WHY POPE CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"I mean, it’s a big-time SEC school and I guess every kid wants to get offered by their hometown team, because I grew up here my whole life.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH POPE:
"While the Christian Academy of Knoxville athlete also plays free safety, linebacker and wide receiver, Pope is expected to play tight end for Tennessee. At 6-foot-4 1/2, 215 pounds and with a 40 time in the 4.6s, the rising senior has the skills to contribute no matter where he lines up."
Marcus Tatum, offensive tackle, Mainland (Fla.) High School | Scout four-star offensive tackle
WHY TATUM CHOSE TENNESSEE:
“It was really just the family atmosphere on the offensive line. I couldn’t stress it enough in all the interviews. It is really just the offensive line, I love them up there. I can really just picture myself playing with them.”
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH TATUM:
He does not shy away from contact and he plays with aggression and loves to finish his blocks. When you see him, you may think finesse blocker, but he is not that. You see his reach, he can keep blockers off his body, and he is great at getting down the field to block the defender. He is very athletic for a tackle and can really mirror defenders off the edge and move in space. The best football is ahead for Tatum.
Nigel Warrior, safety, Peachtree Ridge (Ga.) High School | Scout five-star safety
WHY WARRIOR CHOSE TENNESSEE:
"It wasn't just about football. They weren't thinking about just football, they were thinking about real life. They were talking to me about school and future references and future things that would happen...They showed that they care."
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH WARRIOR:
Warrior is about making a play on the ball. He is a defensive back best suited for free safety. Really tracks the ball well and his hands help him turn the ball over to his offense. Not a lot of wasted movement by Warrior. Really takes good angles, plays within himself, plays under control, and seems to put himself in the right position much more than not. Solid tackler. Very good all around skill-set with instincts.
Latrell Williams, wide receiver, Columbia (Fla.) High School | Scout three-star wide receiver
WHAT TENNESSEE GETS WITH LATRELL WILLIAMS:
"My man can scoot, that's for sure. Coach (Larry) Scott did a heck of a job helping us all land Latrell. We needed some speed on the perimeter and needed someone to come in and be a slot receiver for us and he fits the bill. He can do a lot of things. His skill set is limitless." — Zach Azzanni