KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — What will 2017’s Tennessee recruiting class look like on National Signing Day?
We’re exactly three weeks away, and the Vols continue to look to fill their final few remaining spots in their 2017 class.
They’ll host a big group of official visitors over the weekend, headlined by Under Armour All-American defensive end LaBryan Ray.
As it currently stands, Tennessee has 26 commits and hopes to sign between 27-28 prospects. The Vols class ranks No. 10 nationally — sixth in the SEC.
*** Indicates current Tennessee commit
3-star Will McBride (Clear Springs, Texas)
Note: McBride flipped to Tennessee from Memphis in mid-December. He’s one of five players on campus as a mid-term enrollee.
4-star recruit Ty Chandler (Montgomery Bell Academy, Tenn.) ***
3-star recruit Trey Coleman (West Monroe, La.) ***
3-star recruit Johnathan Lovett (Marlton, N.J.)
Note: Chandler and Coleman are longtime commits. Chandler is a plug-and-play prospect and will immediately vie for carries in 2017. Despite limited reps, he showed well at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Lovett is one of several tailbacks still on the Vols’ board. Tennessee will host Travis Etienne, a Texas A&M lean, over the weekend, and is also recruiting Timothy Jordan, a 3-star prospect from Florida who is a hard commit to North Carolina.
3-star recruit James Brown (Jones, Fla.) ***
Note: Brown is a converted quarterback with an intriguing skill set. LaTrell Bumphus (see below) could play offense for the Volunteers, too.
3-star recruit Jordan Murphy (Hattiesburg, Miss.) ***
3-star recruit Princeton Fant (LaVergne, Tenn.) ***
3-star recruit Jacquez Jones (Clearwater, Fla.) ***
3-star recruit JaVonta Payton (Hillsboro, Tenn.)
Note: Murphy delivered a monster senior season (more than 1,600 yards and 21 touchdowns), earning a ratings bump from Rivals.com. Meanwhile, Jones put up big numbers, too. Both prospects have work to do in the classroom.
Fant is an unbelievable athlete who battled injury problems his entire high school career.
With Josh Malone off to the NFL and Tyler Byrd a candidate to switch back to corner, Tennessee appears likely to sign a fourth receiver. Jaylen Harris (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), Jeff Thomas (East St. Louis, Ill.) and Jordan Pouncey (Winter Park, Fla.) are all names on the board, but the most likely option is Payton — an in-state prospect the Vols have kept tabs on for months.
3-star recruit Riley Locklear, tackle (Spring Valley, W.Va.) ***
5-star recruit Trey Smith, tackle (University School of Jackson, Tenn.) ***
3-star recruit K’Rojhn Calbert, tackle (Warren County, Tenn.) ***
Note: Smith is the headliner of Tennessee’s entire class. Both he and Locklear are already on campus as early enrollees. Calbert, an intriguing prospect, committed in mid-November. The Vols are done at OL.
3-star recruit Marquez Bembry (Mount Vernon Presbyterian, Ga.) ***
Note: Bembry is recovering from a knee injury and projects as a defensive lineman.
3-star recruit LaTrell Bumphus, end (Hardin County, Tenn.) ***
4-star recruit Eric Crosby, tackle (Ocean Lakes, Va.) ***
3-star recruit Kivon Bennett, tackle (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.) ***
3-star recruit Matthew Butler, end (Garner, N.C.) ***
3-star Deandre Johnson, end (Miami Southridge, Fla.) ***
3-star Aaron Sterling, end (Tucker, Ga.)
Note: A solid group, especially with the addition of Butler last month. Johnson is an early enrollee.
Tennessee continues to seek at least one more end in the class, hosting LaBryan Ray, Elijah Conliffe, Sterling and Ryan Thaxton in the coming weeks. Sterling (a South Carolina-Tennessee battle) is the Vols’ best bet. However, strong visits could go a long way for Ray and Conliffe.
3-star recruit Jaquan Henderson, outside (Newton, Ga.) ***
4-star recruit Will Ignont, inside (Buckhorn, Ala.) ***
3-star recruit Solon Page III, outside (Kell, Ga.) ***
4-star recruit Shanon Reid, (Dunbar, Fla.) ***
Note: Reid committed in December and is already on campus as an early enrollee. Ignont was a big get in late October. He recently shut down his recruitment, too, and will not be taking an other official visit.
Henderson, who continues to visit other schools, and Page are athletic, versatile prospects who could play outside linebacker or a hybrid nickel role.
4-star recruit Maleik Gray, safety (LaVergne, Tenn.) ***
3-star recruit Theo Jackson, safety (Overton, Tenn.) ***
3-star recruit Cheyenne Labruzza, cornerback (Albany, La.) ***
3-star recruit Terrell Bailey, cornerback (John Ehret, La.) ***
Note: Tennessee missed on Keisean Nixon (South Carolina) and Yusuf Corker (Kentucky). The Vols still hope to have Corker for an official visit later this month, but a flip doesn’t appear imminent. Ameer Speed (Sandalwood, Fla.) is another name to watch, but he’s a Virginia Tech lean and a priority target for Georgia. The most likely outcome: Tennessee signs another receiver and moves Byrd to corner.
3-star recruit Brent Cimaglia (Fred J Page, Tenn.) ***
Note: This in-state kicker had 32 touchbacks this season. He was perfect on extra points at 27-for-27 but made 5-of-9 field-goal tries.
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