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 4-star defensive tackle D’Andre Litaker, who could make his decision between Tennessee, Alabama and Louisville soon.
Brendon Harris, the 4-star safety out of Chattanooga, Ten., was a huge pickup for Tennessee at the end of last week to aid a class that heavily favored the offense in terms of talent in the early stages.
With Harris on board, now all attention on the defensive side of the ball turns to two more in-state guys — 4-star defensive tackles Greg Emerson and D’Andre Litaker. Emerson’s recruitment is going to be a marathon, as he told SEC Country that he won’t make his decision until right at the end — either in December if he enrolls early or on National Signing Day in February.
But Litaker’s recruitment could be entering the spring phase, as he told SEC Country earlier this month.
“I might do it during mid May, the beginning of June, maybe,” Litaker said. “It’s real soon, or I can do it maybe first game, something like that.”
While that not totally committal on his part, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on for the No. 20 defensive tackle in the country and No. 211 overall player in the Class of 2018.
Tennessee is definitely in things as one of Litaker’s top three schools along with Alabama and Louisville. Tennessee had the benefit of bringing the Murfreesboro, Tenn. native on campus twice this spring — once for junior day in February and again for the spring game in April.
Litaker described the relationship that he’s created with Tennessee over the last few months as “something special.”
“Really, it’s the relationship I have with coaches,” Litaker said. “It’s a great school, great fans. Everything about UT is something special.”
Alabama is a real threat to things, however.
Litaker acknowledged that the prospect of using Alabama as a springboard to the NFL is enticing, as is the Crimson Tide’s penchant for developing top-flight defensive linemen.
“I was in a meeting with [head coach Nick] Saban and [defensive line coach Karl] Dunbar, they’re losing some D-line,” Litaker said. “Alabama D-line has always been great so they’re going to keep producing great D-line, even the ones that’s backing up the ones that’s going to the draft and stuff like that or did get drafted. I just think Alabama, it’s guaranteed NFL.”
Litaker made it out to Alabama once in late March and he indicated to SEC Country earlier this month that he wanted to make another trip to Tuscaloosa, although it’s not immediately clear whether or not that visit has officially been scheduled or taken place.
Likewise, Litaker made it out to his other top three school, Louisville, in early March and said that he hoped to make another trip this month. Also like Alabama, Louisville has a high need for defensive line depth and he’s built a strong relationship with the coaching staff.
“Louisville, losing D-line, they need D-line, a lot of D-line actually,” Litaker said. “Same reason with UT, Louisville fans are great. The coaches, I’ve got a great relationship with them and I can also see myself playing for Louisville.”
Running back Lyn-J Dixon drops top 12
In addition to the likes of Master Teague, Tae Provens and Anthony Grant, there’s another potential running back for the Vols’ Class of 2018.
On Wednesday, 3-star running back Lyn-J Dixon out of Butler, Ga. released his top 12, which included Tennessee as well as Alabama, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida, Oklahoma State, Michigan State, Louisville, Texas, Notre Dame, Clemson and Auburn.
Top 12 ‼️🏈 pic.twitter.com/JHyedeFJa3
— Lyn-J Dixon 🙏🏽📚🏈 (@im_Next23) May 25, 2017
Dixon, the No. 19 running back in the country, eliminated both in-state schools Georgia and Georgia Tech, as well as Oklahoma, Indiana, LSU and South Carolina among his 18 offers. The final two schools on that list, Clemson and Auburn, have yet to extend Dixon an offer according to 247Sports.
Dixon visited Knoxville twice this spring, once for the team’s second junior day in March and then again at the end of April for the Orange and White game.
After the de-commitment of Jashaun Corbin, Tennessee is still seeking its first running back for the class.
SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan contributed to this report.
Miss a previous edition? Find all your SEC Country Tennessee Vols recruiting news here.