Tennessee lands Byron Young on signing day to address need at pass rusher
Tennessee football finally made a signing day splash on Wednesday evening.
Junior-college defensive end Byron Young committed to the Vols, he announced on Twitter. Tennessee announced his signing minutes after Young committed.
The Georgia Military College product is rated the No. 2 weakside defensive end and the No. 17 junior-college prospect in the 247Sports Composite.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Young had offers from Auburn, Florida Georgia and LSU among others. He is the 16th player to sign with the Vols on the first day of the early signing period.
Young is the first edge rusher to sign with Tennessee for the 2021 class.
Dylan Brooks, Tennessee's top-rated commitment, did not sign Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Brooks is the No. 51 prospect nationally.
"We want a guy with versatility that can change direction and has length to play off a tackle, but at the same time can turn the corner and bend and rush the passer," outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton said in November of what he looks for in recruiting. "Outside linebacker, other guys doesn’t believe me, but I think it is one of the most difficult positions to recruit. There are so many things you are asked to do and need to be able to do well.”
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.
Young played high school football at Carvers Bay in Hemingway, South Carolina.
Deandre Johnson, Tennessee's leading outside linebacker, is a senior and could depart after the season. The Vols dismissed junior Kivon Bennett on Dec. 1 after he was arrested by UT police after a traffic stop. He is facing gun and drug charges, two of which are felony charges.
Freshmen Tyler Baron and Morven Joseph and sophomore Roman Harrison complete the primary group of Vols outside linebackers.
Mike Wilson covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you enjoy Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that will allow you access to all of it.