Tennessee football in top three for elite 2022 Pennsylvania DE Ken Talley

The 2022 Philadelphia, Pa. edge rusher is still eyeing the Tennessee football Volunteers.

With a defensive end as the only commitment for 2022 at this point, it appears that’s where Jeremy Pruitt has put his focus for Tennessee football. Recently, the Vols began trending for another player at that position.

Rocky Top has made the top three for Ken Talley, a unanimous four-star out of Pennsylvania. Talley has also set his commitment date for Tuesday, Sept. 8. Listed as an athlete on Rivals, Talley is likely to play defensive end, which ESPN and 247Sports both list him as, and in particularly weakside defensive end, which 247Sports lists him as.

Coming out of Northeast High School in Philadelphia, Pa., the 6’2″ 235-pound edge rusher had Tennessee football, the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Arizona State Sun Devils  on his list. He announced the schools on Twitter.

As of right now, UT’s one commitment for 2022 is three-star defensive end Jimmy Scott, who comes out of New York. The Vols have also secured three edge rushers for their 2021 class in four-star Dylan Brooks and three-stars Darrell Jackson and Trinity Bell.

Considering the fact that they added four-stars Morven Joseph and Tyler Baron along with three-star Reginald Perry in 2020, it’s clear that Pruitt needs a lot more depth here. He had already lamented the lack of depth at that position.

Since Darrell Taylor is gone, Deandre Johnson is entering his senior year and Kivon Bennett is entering his junior year, there’s clearly even more need for depth there in the future. Add in the fact that the three main defensive ends on the line, Matthew Butler, LaTrell Bumphus and Ja’Quain Blakely, are all seniors, and Pruitt needs as much help as he can get.

This is all true even with the NCAA ruling that players can maintain their eligibility after this year. Talley would add a ton of help to the situation, and in Pruitt’s and Derrick Ansley’s 3-4 scheme, as many players like him are needed as possible.

Next: Vols all-time depth chart under Johnny Majors

Currently, though, Tennessee football is playing from behind. Penn State has long been a unanimous favorite on the Rivals Future Cast and the 247Sports Crystal Ball to land him and a majority favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast. As a result, if the Vols want to get a steal, they need to make a last-minute push, and they need to do it fast.