Tennessee football: 5 recruits to watch during early signing period
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Tennessee’s recruiting class still has a bit of wiggle room for the Vols to make a pickup or two during the three-day early signing period that begins Wednesday.
The Vols have 21 commitments in a class that is ranked 15th nationally in the 247Sports Composite.
Here are five players not currently committed to Tennessee to monitor.
Terrence Lewis, the five-star outside linebacker from Miami Central, had been committed to Tennessee for seven months until his Nov. 30 decommitment. At the time, he noted that the Vols remained in contention, and that hasn’t changed.
Lewis on Monday announced that Tennessee and Maryland are his two finalists. Lewis tweeted that he will sign this week but keep his choice quiet until Jan. 2, when he plans to reveal his choice during an NBC broadcast celebrating the selections to the All-American Bowl, although the game itself will not be played because of the pandemic.
Lewis’ plans might have been altered when Auburn fired coach Gus Malzahn on Sunday. AU had been considered a key contender for Lewis.
Lewis is the top-ranked inside linebacker in this recruiting class in the 247Sports Composite.
The Vols are in the mix for Byron Young, an uncommitted three-star defensive end from Georgia Military College. The junior college signing period runs through Jan. 15, so Young might not make a choice this week.
Young made 31 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss, as a freshman in 2019. Like other junior colleges, Georgia Military did not play a season this fall.
Travali Price, a three-star defensive end, and his half-brother, long snapper Jayden Tate, committed to North Carolina State on June 19. At that time, Price had a Tennessee offer. Tate did not.
But Tate picked up a Vols offer in November, a sign that the Vols would be interested in a package deal.
The siblings have not wavered in their commitment, and the Wolfpack’s 8-3 record makes it tougher for Tennessee to earn a flip.
If Tennessee can get a flip from Price, it almost surely would also mean a flip from Tate. He wouldn’t be just a throw-in, either.
Tennessee has freshman long snapper Will Albright on scholarship. He opened the season as the starter but skidded a snap on a punt in the season opener. Since then, walk-on Matthew Salansky has handled the long snapping.
Tate is the No. 1-rated long snapper in the 2021 class by the 247Sports Composite. He also played center in high school and could offer some versatility beyond long snapper.
Three-star wide receiver Davis Mallinger flipped his commitment once, pivoting from UCF to West Virginia. Would the speedy playmaker from Cocoa, Florida, be willing to change his mind again?
He picked up his Tennessee offer in October, a few weeks after committing to WVU. Mallinger has the skills to play either receiver or defensive back.
Blake Toppmeyer covers University of Tennessee football. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @btoppmeyer. If you enjoy Blake’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it. Current subscribers can click here to join Blake's subscriber-only text group offering updates and analysis on Vols football.