Tennessee landed commitment No. 20 Wednesday night in safety Trey Dean.
— Trey Dean (@__TD3) August 3, 2017
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Hampton, Ga., native ranks as the No. 22 safety in the Class of 2018 and rates as a 4-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Tennessee received two commitments on Wednesday, both bringing two different talents to the table for the Vols. The morning saw a commitment from Matthew Flint, who will bring tremendous speed and athleticism to the linebacker position. The night saw Dean, who will bring the thunder so to speak at the safety position.
While Dean may not be the fastest safety prospect around, he is one of the hardest hitting and delivers a heck of a punch when he is able to tee off on the opposing player. It is not hard to imagine him stepping into the box in a third-and-short situation and stopping the run.
Tennessee has three upperclassmen in the secondary on the projected two-deep roster in 2017. Seniors Todd Kelly Jr. and Evan Berry will be gone after this season, while Micah Abernathy is only a junior heading into the 2017 season.
Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has called sophomore Nigel Warrior more of a strong safety than a free safety. The future path to easy playing time might be a little tough.
Shoop will probably welcome the issue of having too many hard-hitting safeties in the secondary, though, after a number of injuries last season.
Fit with the program
Flint fits perfectly into the linebacker/safety role in Shoop’s defense. Dean looks like he can do a lot on the back end of the defense. He has the ability to punish wide receivers roaming over the middle or set into the box and stop a run.
Recruiting at the position
Tennessee holds a commitment from one other safety in Brendon Harris. The Vols probably won’t take on another safety this class. However, the cornerback position is still very much in play. CB Jaycee Horn seems to be the top target left for the Vols as a defensive back.
Tennessee also holds commitments from cornerbacks Tanner Ingle and Brandon Cross.