Tennessee football received commitment No. 19 Wednesday when outside linebacker Matthew Flint made his announcement via Twitter.
It's official 📍📍 pic.twitter.com/diKs2xaZBU
— matthew flint (@twisted__up) August 2, 2017
Flint gives Tennessee the linebacker it has tried to secure from the Class of 2018.
Flint rates as 3-star outside linebacker and is ranked as the No. 721 overall prospect in the cycle, according to the 247Sports composite.
What Matthew Flint brings
The Gurley, Ala., native becomes the Tennessee’s ninth defensive commitment this class.
Flint brings surprising quickness to the linebacker position. The senior clocked a 4.57-second 40-yard dash at the Atlanta-area Nike The Opening Regional in late March.
In Flint’s highlights, his speed shows as one of his best assets. Coming off the edge as an outside linebacker, Flint breaks up a lot of plays by getting into the backfield so quickly.
Flint’s eyes on the football also appear to be a strength. He follows the ball pretty well regardless of the crowd around him.
The offensive linemen never seem to fully engage in a block with Flint, which is a good sign. Having the elusiveness to evade blockers will be an important skill to grow as he becomes an SEC linebacker.
Where Matthew Flint fits
Flint’s highlight reel did not show him defending one pass. During a couple of plays, he dropped back into coverage, but the play turned into the quarterback scrambling or a running back screen.
With Flint’s speed, he could develop into a pretty good coverage linebacker.
Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop uses a “spur” position in his defense, which is a linebacker/safety hybrid.
Flint seems to be a perfect fit for that sort of role if he can develop as a pass defender. As a 6-foot, 213-pound prospect, his future likely lies in a hybrid-type role.