After landing the star of their 2021 recruiting class on defense from Life Christian Academy in Chester, Va., Aaron Willis, Tennessee football is now targeting other players from there. This time, the Vols are going after a less heralded prospect.
UT made the top five for defensive lineman D’Andre Martin. Initially from North Carolina and part of the 2021 class, Martin reclassified into the 2022 class, according to Ryan Callahan of GoVols247. He is not yet rated on Rivals or 247Sports and stands between 6’3″ and 6’5″ while weighing between 285 and 300 pounds.
Joining Tennessee football on Martin’s list are the Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Tech Hokies, South Carolina Gamecocks and Florida State Seminoles. He announced all the schools with a video on Twitter Monday afternoon.
Obviously, given the fact that the Vols lured Willis out of the same school in Virginia a year before, they should have a great shot in landing Martin. Also, the fact that all of his top five are Power Five schools suggests his lack of ratings doesn’t mean much. It just seems like he’s being overlooked right now.
Given UT’s situation, they need all the future defensive linemen they can get, particularly defensive tackle, which Martin is listed as. They just lost Greg Emerson to the transfer portal, and Darel Middleton and Aubrey Solomon are both seniors. Even USC Trojans transfer Caleb Tremblay is a senior, so there is a huge opening here.
Now, despite the connection, the need he feels and the quality of talent he is, landing Martin could be tough given the fact that Duke is in his top five. He is from Durham, N.C. initially, and VT is his home state school right now, so the Vols will have to fight to land him.
Currently, there are no favorites on the Rivals Future Cast, the Rivals Fan Future Cast or the 247Sports Crystal Ball. As a result, Tennessee football has as much of a chance as anybody to land Martin, and he could be a steal on the trail.