Tennessee football recruiting: Vols make top 8 for 4-star South Florida DT

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

Tennessee football made another cut for a lineman. The Volunteers cracked the top eight for four-star 2020 defensive tackle Westley Neal of Miami, Fla.

After losing all three starters at the position last year, Jeremy Pruitt has been working relentlessly to restock Tennessee football at defensive line. After all, he’s going to have to continue to do so since two of his three commitments there this year are junior college transfers.

Sunday, though, Pruitt got a bit of decent news on that front for 2020. Westley Neal, a very talented defensive tackle from South Florida, trimmed his list down to eight schools, and the Vols were among them.

Joining Tennessee football was the Indiana Hoosiers, the West Virginia Mountaineers, the Pitt Panthers, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Virginia Cavaliers, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the South Florida Bulls. Neal made his announcement on Twitter.

At 6’1″ 297 pounds, Neal hails from Gulliver Prep in Miami. He is ranked the No. 20 player nationally at his position and the No. 45 player overall in the state of Florida. Given his size, he’s already en route to being the perfect type of nose tackle in Pruitt’s system, even if he doesn’t have the height the other linemen have.

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Right now, the Rivals FanFutureCast has Neal going to the Pitt Panthers, but that school only leads with a plurality. Meanwhile, there are no predictions for him on the overall Rivals FutureCast or the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.

But, as you can see from the list above, Tennessee football is certainly competing with lesser schools than they usually have to compete with for four-star talent from any state in the South. So that is good news for them as they try to load up on the front lines.

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Given the system the Vols run as well, Rocky Top is a very ideal place for a guy like Neal. Pruitt showed with Shy Tuttle, Kyle Phillips and Alexis Johnson that his system can help anybody reach their potential on the line. Those guys did have talent, but it wasn’t until Pruitt came along that they were able to fully put it on display.

A good season by Tennessee football this year could really put them in the running to land Neal. They could also potentially become the favorite to get him with WVU about to take a step back after losing Dana Holgorsen and Will Grier.

Next. Projecting the Vols' 2019 2-deep depth chart. dark

Where Neal lands up is likely not going to have much to do with the prestige of the school. That shows by his current selections of schools that made the cut. However, Tennessee football can’t hurt itself by having a successful enough season to prove that it’s a program heading in a better direction than the other programs on the list.