Vols Football: Recruiting Notes and Updates

The Vols are trending upward on the field and in recruiting. See what good news they received on Tuesday. PHOTO: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, January 20th was a busy day in terms of recruiting news with updated rankings, decommits, and updated lists of finalists. The Vols received good news on several fronts on Tuesday, and we have some updates on some current Vol commits and targets.

Jefferson Decommits

Four-star wide receiver Van Jefferson of Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, TN had been committed to the Georgia Bulldogs since late August and seemed to be a firm Bulldog commit. But he announced Tuesday afternoon that he had changed his mind, reopening his recruitment merely 2 weeks before National Signing Day.

Jefferson, the No. 108 overall player in the country in the class of 2015 and 3rd best player in the state of Tennessee according to 247Sports, is believed to be deciding between Oklahoma, Florida, and Ole Miss mostly, but the Vols won’t give up on him, especially now that he is fair game.

Ultimately, the Oklahoma Sooners appear to be the front-runners for Jefferson, but his decommitment is still good news for the Vols.

Sapp Names Finalists

One of Tennessee’s top remaining targets, four-star linebacker Quart’e Sapp of Alpharetta, GA, announced Tuesday night that he had narrowed down his recruitment to four teams: Miami, Missouri, Michigan State, and Tennessee.

Sapp is the No. 233 overall player in the 2015 class according to 247Sports, and holds offers from over a dozen schools. He visited Knoxville on January 16, and the Vols and Miami are considered the heavy favorites to land him.

Sapp’s recruitment has been a bit of mystery, because unlike most recruits, Sapp has been fairly quiet about his doings and about his recruitment process. While he tweeted out his finalists, he still did not specify when he would announce his decision. National Signing Day is February 4th, and it’s looking more and more likely that he will wait till then to do so.

Updated Recruiting Rankings

Both 247Sports and Rivals.com put out their final recruiting rankings on Tuesday, and several Vols moved in the rankings.

Rivals employs a top 250 rating system for high school recruits, and 247Sports has its version with a top 247 high school recruits in the country. Tennessee ended up with 11 players in the Rivals 250 and 11 players in 247Sports top 247 players as well.

Here are where Tennessee’s commits rank in both service’s final rankings (previous rankings in parentheses):


3 (6). Kahlil McKenzie, DT
21 (36). Kyle Phillips, DE
29 (48). Preston Williams, WR
64 (53). Shy Tuttle, DT
89 (167). Jauan Jennings, QB
150 (129). Jack Jones, OL
182 (162). Darrin Kirkland Jr., LB
198 (260). Quinten Dormady, QB
226 (276). Darrell Taylor, DE
227 (208). Micah Abernathy, CB
245 (253). Sheriron Jones, QB


6. Kahlil McKenzie, DT
32. Kyle Phillips, DE
66. Shy Tuttle, DT
92. Jack Jones, OL
106. Kendall Bussey, RB
158. Preston Williams, WR
168. Darrin Kirkland Jr., LB
178. Andrew Butcher, DE
181. Venzell Boulware, OL
186. Marques Ford, DE
243. Darrell Taylor, DE

The two sites have the top-tier talent committed to Tennessee ranked fairly similarly, but the lists digress considerably in the latter half. But both services have over a third of Tennessee’s 2015 class ranked in the top 250 in the country.

While the Vols didn’t move in the overall team rankings for 2015 in 3 of the 4 major recruiting services, Jefferson’s decommitment pushed the Vols to No. 2 overall in Scout’s team rankings ahead of Georgia.

Here are where the Vols stand in all 4 major recruiting services:

247Sports: 3rd
Rivals: 5th
Scout.com: 2nd
ESPN: 5th

Regardless of which service you prefer, the Vols are likely to pull in a top 5 recruiting class in 2015. Tennessee is in prime position to add a few more pieces to their class, further bolstering their haul in 2015.