Tennessee has most of its work completed for the 2016 signing class. However, there are always loose ends to tie up.
How strong can the Volunteers finish? Here are some bold predictions about what will happen Wednesday on National Signing Day.
Tennessee lands Derrick Brown
I know what you’re thinking. The Vols have long been in the trail position behind Alabama, Georgia and, at times, a handful of other schools. Yet, Brown’s official visit to Tennessee went well and he even tweeted a verse to “Rocky Top” after he left campus. Imagine if Brown actually committed to the Vols. It would be one of the biggest recruiting stories in the nation. Can the Vols actually land the five-star prospect from Lanier High School (Sugar Hill, Ga.)? Some of those closest to Brown still don’t know where he’ll end up. So you’re telling me there’s a chance. … The Vols will take that for the 6-foot-4, 320-pound prospect who ranks as the No. 4 defensive tackle in the nation and the top prospect in Georgia.
Nigel Warrior signs with Tennessee
This seemed like the longest of the long shots for the Vols just a few weeks ago. However, Warrior, who is from Peachtree Ridge High School (Suwanee, Ga.), now seems like a real possibility for the Vols. Warrior seemed to enjoy his official visit to Knoxville, Tenn., last weekend and appreciates the legacy that his father, former Tennessee safety Dale Carter, has left. The Vols have had good luck with legacy players like Warrior, who is also considering Alabama, Georgia and LSU. There is reason to believe the 5-11, 196-pound Warrior will be the next in a recent run of Tennessee signees with strong ties to the Vols. Warrior is the No. 4 safety in the country and the No. 7 overall prospect in Georgia.
The Vols miss out on Landon Dickerson
This one is a head-scratcher. As the No. 4 offensive tackle prospect in the nation and the No. 2 overall prospect in North Carolina, Dickerson seems like a prime target. However, for whatever reason, the Vols didn’t show the same tenacity as other schools for the 6-5, 297-pound prospect. The Vols seem to be going with lighter offensive linemen, but Dickerson seems like a good fit for any school. Dickerson, who is from South Caldwell High School in Hudson, N.C., visited Tennessee nearly 10 times, so he was clearly interested. If he ends up beating the Vols while at Alabama, this one will hurt. Florida State is also in contention.
The Vols get Jonathan Kongbo back
Once a Tennessee commitment, the nation’s top junior college prospect decided to kick the tires on his recruitment as of early January. Now, the 6-foot-6, 264-pound defensive end from Arizona Western Junior College seems more likely to sign with the Vols than his other primary suitors, including Ole Miss, Florida State and Southern California. Kongbo would be a huge pickup for Tennessee.
If the Vols can land Kongbo and a pair of other top prospects, Tennessee’s class would have to be considered a success despite its small numbers.