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 talk about where the Vols could turn next after Malik Vann committed to Cincinnati Tuesday, as well as a new offer to intriguing Louisiana defensive back Eddie Smith.
Malik Vann makes decision
Tennessee got some good news last week when 4-star defensive end Malik Vann dropped his list of top six schools and included the Vols.
Nearly as quickly as the good vibes arose, they came to a crash when Vann announced his commitment to Cincinnati on Tuesday.
— Malik Vann❕ (@MalikVann7) April 18, 2017
Vann, rated the No. 12 strong-side defensive end in the Class of 2018, said that he intended on attending the Orange and White game on Saturday at Nike’s “The Opening” event in Chicago last month. It remains to be seen whether or not he sill plans to attend. He was one of the more intriguing prospects on the Vols’ board and indicated that the Tennessee coaching staff believed that he could fit into a Derek Barnett-type role on the Vols’ defense.
Instead, the Fairfield, Ohio native chose to pick his only in-state offer, much to the surprise of many recruiting experts. Of the nine 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions put in on Vann, eight predicted him to go to Michigan State.
Vann is a big pickup for the Bearcats, vaulting them up 10 spots to No. 29 on the 247Sports team rankings for the Class of 2018, three spots ahead of Tennessee, although it’s still very early in the cycle.
As for Tennessee, the defensive line board is still fine with the big three — Greg Emerson, D’Andre Litaker and Brant Lawless — still up for grabs. However, all three of those players fit into a more traditional defensive tackle role and wouldn’t quite be able to fill the role that the Vols’ coaches had in mind for Vann.
If Tennessee is going to add a player like that to its class, its more likely going to have to look toward other strong-side defensive ends or maybe even an outside linebacker. Of the 13 outside linebackers that currently have an offer from the Vols, none weighs in at more than 230 pounds, nowhere near the 270 that Vann is listed at. The more likely options are 3-star defensive ends Malik Langham and Jamarcus Chatman.
Langham, the No. 35 strong-side defensive end, was just on campus last Saturday and has previously referred to the Vols among his favorites.
Chatman, the No. 13 strong-side defensive end, put the Vols in his top 10 recently, but is strongly considered a favorite to land in Miami.
Vols offer 3-star Louisiana DB Eddie Smith
Eddie Smith has been one of the fastest-rising names in a talent-rich state of Louisiana.
Despite that, the 3-star cornerback boasted just two Power 5 offers coming into Tuesday — Mississippi State and Oregon State. That changed pretty quickly, with the nation’s No. 56 corner adding an offer from Tennessee Tuesday morning.
— gods gift 8️⃣ (@eddiesmith_8) April 18, 2017
Not long after, the Salmen (La.) High School product also added an offer from Louisville, bringing his offer total up to 12. A few of those offers come from top Group of Five teams including San Diego State and Memphis.
Smith made a visit to Mississippi State at the end of March and left with an offer. He also visited LSU in late February but did not come away with an offer.
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