Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Today, we discuss Tennessee’s three commitments from the weekend and what they mean for the Vols and making Malcolm Lamar’s top 5.
Tennessee exited the weekend with new Class of 2018 commitments from Lyn-J Dixon, Anthony Grant Jr. and Jamarcus Chatman. Dixon announced over Twitter Saturday his intentions to play for Tennessee, and Grant and Chatman followed on Sunday.
None of the commitments necessarily came as a surprise to Tennessee, but the all three in the same weekend seems to have made up for a quiet Orange Carpet Day.
It appears Butch Jones knew exactly what to do when he presented a more relaxed day instead of pressuring the prospects to commit. All three of the commitments from over the weekend attended Orange Carpet Day and obviously enjoyed their time enough to pull the trigger on the Vols a week later.
The commitments validate Jones’ approach to the weekend.
Dixon and Grant finally fill Tennessee’s void at the running back position. Tennessee had been pursuing running backs after missing out on in-state back Master Teague III. The new running back duo should be able to gel together, once on campus, and seem to be fine with the idea of splitting carries down the line.
— Robert Gillespie (@UTCoachG) June 26, 2017
Both backs are Georgia natives. Dixon, a 4-star running back, ranks as the No. 6 all-purpose back in the class and No. 307 prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Grant, a 3-star, ranks as the No. 19 back and No. 399 prospect.
As long as Dixon and Grant remain committed to the Vols, Tennessee likely won’t add another running back.
Chatman adds to an already impressive defensive line haul for Tennessee, with Brant Lawless and D’Andre Litaker already committed.
Chatman committed to LSU at the Tigers’ spring game in April, but a day after attending Orange Carpet Day he de-committed. He committed to Tennessee a week later.
Flipping an LSU commitment in a week’s time takes some doing, and Jones pulled it off. Chatman, a 3-star defensive tackle, ranks as the No. 30 tackle in the class and No. 397 prospect.
Factoring in the likely commitment from Greg Emerson in December, the core of Tennessee’s defensive line looks to be in great position for the future.
New defensive line coach Brady Hoke has a lot to do with the impressive class. Prospects laud his toughness and the experience he brings to the position. His message to defensive line recruits obliviously has been an effective one.
The defensive line may add more commitments, too. Emerson will wait until December but there is a chance for a commitment from JUCO defensive lineman Dorian Gerald. He seems to be trending towards South Carolina right now.
Tennessee’s class now holds 15 commitments and ranks No. 5 in the country and No. 2 in the SEC behind LSU.
The next position Tennessee needs to fill will be on the offensive line. Tennessee holds commitments from in-state prospects Cade Mays and Ollie Lane, but could still add two more players on the line.
Memphis-area native Jerome Carvin remains the likely No. 1 target. He attended Orange Carpet Day, as well. It seems his decision will come down to the Vols and Alabama.
Tennessee makes Malcolm Lamar’s top 5
Class of 2018 defensive end prospect Malcolm Lamar released his top-5 schools and Tennessee made the cut.
— Malcolm X. Lamar (@mlamar35) June 24, 2017
The Vols will be battling out the remainder of his recruitment with Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Ole Miss.
Lamar, a 4-star prospect from Seffner, Fla., just outside of Tampa, ranks as the No. 7 defensive end in the class and the No. 174 prospect in the country. If he joined Tennessee, it would be one of the best defensive line hauls in recent memory.
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