Tennessee football has four defensive backs committed for its 2020 recruiting class. Here’s a look at where the Volunteers stand overall at the position.
Just behind the offensive line, the secondary stood out as an elite recruiting class for Tennessee football in 2019. The Vols got six commitments there, three of them were four-star recruits, and one of them, Jaylen McCullough, stood out with two interceptions in the spring game.
As a result, heading into this year, Rocky Top has great depth at defensive back. McCullough, Tyus Fields and Warren Burrell are the three four-star commitments. Anthony Harris, Kenney Solomon and Aaron Beasley are the three three-stars. However, Harris isn’t on the roster yet.
McCullough, Beasley, and Harris if he gets in are safeties, and Solomon, Fields and Burrell are cornerbacks. Then there’s Brandon Davis, a redshirt freshman cornerback. Currently, the Vols have two seniors in the rotation, safety Nigel Warrior and nickel Baylen Buchanan, who figure to play a major role in the system this year.
Juniors Kenneth George Jr. at cornerback, Shawn Shamburger at nickel and Theo Jackson and transfer Deangelo Gibbs at safety are also in there. Then the Vols have five sophomores in cornerbacks Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson, safeties Trevon Flowers and Maleik Gray and nickel Cheyenne Labruzza.
Taking all this into account, Tennessee football has seven players covering the cornerback and nickel positions, three spots overall, who will be on the roster past 2020. They have four safeties guaranteed to be on the roster past 2020. That number could potentially be six given the fact that Gibbs is likely to have to take a redshirt this year and depending on what happens with Harris.
This means that they have plenty of bodies beyond there, but what about talent? That’s where recruiting comes into play. As we wrap up our dead period evaluations of UT’s 2020 class by doing the secondary, we’ll separate the pages by commitments, targets at cornerback, targets at safety and then a final take and prediction.
Obviously, as a secondary specialist, Jeremy Pruitt demands a lot here. The same is true for his new defensive coordinator, Derrick Ansley, another secondary specialist. Let’s look at what they’re putting together for next year in our evaluation of the 2020 Tennessee football recruiting class during the summer dead period.