Who UT Vols football added on national signing day
Tennessee picked up three additions to its recruiting class on Wednesday during national signing day.
The Vols announced the signings of offensive tackle Darnell Wright and linebacker Henry To'oto'o. Cornerback Kenney Solomon gave his commitment, but UT did not announce him as a signee. He's likely a blueshirt addition.
Here's a look at those additions.
CB, 6-0, 170
Socastee (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 157 CB
Commit date: Feb. 6
Twitter handle: @KenneySolomon3
The final word: Solomon selected Tennessee over Rutgers, Louisville and Colorado. His speed is his top asset, and Socastee incorporated him on special teams and offense, too.
OLB, 6-2, 230
De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 3 OLB
Commit date: Feb. 6
Twitter handle: @HenryTootoo1
The final word: Tennessee outdueled Alabama and Washington to gain the services of To'oto'o, an All-American Bowl selection. To'oto'o is a key pickup not just because of his talent, but because of his position. The Vols' only linebacker signees in December were two-way talent Quavaris Crouch and outside linebacker Roman Harrison.
OT, 6-6, 320
Huntington (Huntington, W.Va.)
247 Composite: 5-star, No. 2 OT
Commit date: Feb. 6
Twitter handle: @darnell_5232
The final word: Wright becomes the highest-rated recruit Jeremy Pruitt has signed. He's an exclamation point to a recruiting class that included another five-star offensive tackle, Wanya Morris, during the December signing period. Wright, an Under Armour All-American, chose Tennessee over West Virginia. He has SEC-ready size but also moves well.
OT, 6-5, 294
IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 71 OT
Commit date: July 9
The final word: Before moving to IMG, Akporoghene played at the King’s Academy in Seymour. Tennessee offered him a scholarship in June after watching him at one of its camps. He played tackle at IMG but could end up playing guard with the Vols. Oregon, Michigan and Mississippi State also recruited Akporoghene.
ATH, 6-1, 220
Heard County (Franklin, Ga.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 30 athlete
Commit date: June 10
Twitter handle: @deuceofficial2
The final word: Beasley helped Heard County win the Class AA state championship by rushing for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the title game. He also played safety, and the Vols view him as a defensive player. Beasley was named his region's player of the year. He chose the Vols over Nebraska.
TE, 6-5, 250
Coosa (Rome, Ga.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 40 TE
Commit date: May 11
Twitter handle: @SB3_SZN
The final word: Tennessee has identified tight end as a priority position, and Brown addressed a recruiting need. He projects as a bigger tight end capable of being a strong run blocker. Brown’s size enabled him to also be an effective defensive lineman in high school.
CB, 6-0, 170
North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 52 CB
Commit date: July 27
Twitter handle: @_WB04
The final word: Burrell, who addresses another position of need, picked Tennessee over Florida and North Carolina State. He took official visits to the three schools in June. He’s been to UT on several unofficial visits. With early graduation in mind, he took an extra class during his fall semester.
ATH, 6-1, 237
Harding University High (Charlotte, N.C.)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 3 ATH
Commit date: Dec. 21
Twitter handle: @CrouchQuavaris
The final word: Crouch became the cherry on top of Tennessee's December signees when he pledged for the Vols on the final day of the early signing period. A two-way standout in high school, he projects as a linebacker for Tennessee. He showcased his skills at linebacker in practices for the All-American Bowl.
CB, 5-10, 190
William Amos Hough (Cornelius, N.C.)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 26 CB
Commit date: July 28
Twitter handle: @FieldsTyus
The final word: Fields has good bloodlines. His father, Mark Fields Sr., played linebacker in the NFL. His brother, Mark Jr., is a cornerback for Clemson. Tyus chose Tennessee over Clemson, North Carolina State and Penn State. He gained experience at cornerback and free safety at Hough, and he plays a physical brand of defense. He’ll offer versatility and might best project as a nickelback.
RB, 5-10, 193
Lausanne School (Memphis)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 3 all-purpose back
Commit date: Dec. 20
Twitter handle: @1ericgray
The final word: Gray, the two-time Tennessee Gatorade football player of the year, is one of the top prizes in this class. Gray was selected to the All-American Bowl. He decommitted from Michigan on Dec. 1, and UT became the favorite. He shows a good burst. As a senior, he rushed for 2,499 yards with 40 touchdowns. Gray is a prime candidate to contribute as a true freshman.
DE, 6-2, 241
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 12 weakside DE
Commit date: July 25
Twitter handle: @RomanHarrison10
The final word: Harrison helped Bainbridge win the Class AAAAA state championship with a monster senior season during which he posted 97 tackles, including 8.5 sacks. He chose UT over Georgia Tech and Michigan State. Although he played defensive line in high school, he profiles as an outside linebacker at Tennessee.
WR, 6-3, 185
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 17 WR
Commit date: May 16
Twitter handle: @Wlmel10
The final word: As the lone wide receiver committed to Tennessee’s class, Keyton becomes an important signee. Keyton, who chose the Vols over Auburn, had 184 receptions for 3,353 yards and 33 touchdowns during his Marietta career. He was selected to the All-American Bowl. Keyton's teammate Harrison Bailey is a quarterback who is committed to Tennessee’s 2020 class. An ankle injury sidelined Keyton for about half of his senior season.
OG, 6-4, 300
Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville)
247 Sports Composite: 4-star, No. 14 OG
Commit date: Feb. 8
Twitter handle: @JMLampley75
The final word: One day after last year’s February signing day for the 2018 class, Lampley became Tennessee’s first pledge for 2019, choosing the Vols over a long list of Power 5 programs. He’s the son of Brad Lampley, a former Vols lineman who later served on UT’s Board of Trustees. Jackson Lampley showed a mean streak at MBA, seeking defenders to toss to the ground. He played left tackle but projects as a guard.
TE, 6-5, 242
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 12 TE
Commit date: March 30
Twitter handle: @jacksonlowee
The final word: Lowe made 38 receptions to help Cartersville reach the Class AAAA state championship. He’s a big target who is comfortable making plays in the passing game. Lowe chose UT over Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Penn State. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is Lowe’s former teammate.
QB, 6-3, 184
West Port (Ocala, Fla.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 19 pro-style QB
Commit date: June 27
Twitter handle: @maurerera_2
The final word: The fact that UT doesn’t have an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following Tyson Helton’s departure to Western Kentucky didn’t cause Maurer to waffle. He’ll join the Vols after completing 280 of 428 passes for 3,572 yards with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions as a senior. Maurer picked the Vols over West Virginia, Central Florida, Indiana and Ohio State. He becomes the third scholarship quarterback on UT’s roster.
OG, 6-2, 300
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 26 OG
Commit date: Aug. 22
Twitter handle: @mjmballin
The final word: McBride didn’t play football until his junior season, and “his upside is tremendous,” Whitehaven coach Rodney Saulsberry said after McBride’s commitment. McBride picked UT over Arkansas, Louisville and Memphis. McBride has impressive athleticism given his size. He played tackle for Whitehaven but projects as a guard for UT.
S, 6-0, 194
Hillgrove (Powder Springs, Ga.)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 14 S
Commit date: Aug. 17
Twitter handle: @Jay_Mccollough2
The final word: McCollough landed an offer from Tennessee’s former coaching staff in March 2016. It was his first offer. He committed to Pruitt's staff, choosing the Vols over South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama. An Under Armour All-American, he profiles as a physical safety who won’t shy away from making plays in the box.
WR, 6-2, 212
Lovejoy (Hampton, Ga.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 221 WR
Commit date: Dec. 19
Twitter handle: @JerrodMeans_
The final word: Means decommitted from North Carolina in late November, visited Tennessee last weekend and pledged to the Vols on Wednesday. He chose UT over Rutgers. Means was timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a Vols camp this summer. He's also an option in the secondary but will start out on offense.
DT, 6-7, 290
East Mississippi Community College (Scooba, Miss.)
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 4 JUCO DT
Commit date: April 4
Twitter handle: @Darel__
The final word: Middleton committed to Tennessee in 2013 while a freshman at Powell High School. He decommitted, pledged to Arizona State but never made it there, requiring a junior college detour. He made 29 tackles this year as a freshman for East Mississippi, the school profiled on the Netflix series “Last Chance U.” Middleton chose Tennessee over Florida, Georgia and Kentucky. Tennessee graduated its entire starting defensive line, so Middleton is a candidate to contend for early playing time.
OT, 6-6, 311
Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
247 Composite: 5-star, No. 6 OT
Commit date: May 1
Twitter handle: @wanyamorris64
The final word: Morris is the highest-rated prospect to sign with Tennessee since Pruitt’s hiring. An Under Armour All-American, he has college-ready size and plays a position where the Vols desperately need an upgrade. Morris initially committed to Florida State, then decommitted after Jimbo Fisher’s departure to Texas A&M and chose UT over Auburn. Morris played for a powerhouse high school. Six of his teammates are also ranked in the top 50 of Georgia prospects and are bound for Power 5 schools.
DT, 6-2, 344
247 Composite: 3-star, No. 47 DT
Commit date: July 16
Twitter handle: @BIGE91234
The final word: They don't make them much heavier than Simmons, who chose the Vols over Memphis and Missouri. He'll need to tone his frame into college form before he's ready to contribute. Simmons made 54 tackles as a senior. He was named the defensive MVP for Region 5-3A. He's a fit for the nose guard position in UT's 3-4 scheme.
DT, 6-4, 315
Lackawanna College (Scranton, Pa.)
247 Composite: 4-star, No. 1 JUCO DT
Commit date: July 31
Twitter handle: @50reazons
The final word: Williams, who is from Maryland, projects as a defensive end or nose tackle. With the Vols replacing three starters on the line, playing time will be available. Williams has a good relationship with Tennessee quality control analyst Joe Osovet, a former junior college head coach who recruited Williams. He made 33 tackles his sophomore season at Lackawanna.
5 THINGS TO WATCH:Track Darnell Wright, Henry To'oto'o, Christopher Russell on signing day