With two outside rushers already in their 2022 recruiting class, Tennessee football is now in the running to land a third, the most elite of all of them. Their task will be to go to his hometown, where Josh Heupel used to coach, and lure him out of the Sunshine State.
The Vols made the top five for Florida linebacker DeMario Tolan. A four-star on Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN, Tolan is listed as an outside linebacker and stands somewhere between 6’2″ and 6’3″ while weighing in the 205 to 215-pound range.
Coming out of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla., Tolan has been right were Heupel coached the past three years as he led the UCF Knights. Joining Tennessee football on his list are the Florida State Seminoles, Miami Hurricanes, LSU Tigers and Clemson Tigers. He announced his list Monday on Twitter.
Obviously, landing a guy like Tolan would be huge for the Vols. There are also multiple connections. Not only was Heupel the head coach in his hometown from 2018 to 2020, but his father is also from Nashville, Tenn. and is a lifelong Vols fan, according to Ryan Callahan of GoVols247.
It’s pretty impressive for Rocky Top to be in the running with two of his home state schools and two of the last three national championship schools. That has to say something about the Vols and the connections he has there.
As a player, Tolan could be a huge help. UT is going to need more edge rushers at linebacker and on the line in Tim Banks’ new scheme, and Tolan’s arrival could allow guys like Tyler Baron and Roman Harrison to play more up front. Tolan could also find himself becoming an early contributor. He clearly has a good bit of potential.
Currently, there are no favorites to land Tolan on the Rivals Future Cast or the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Miami is the favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast but only by a plurality. As a result, Tennessee football has every reason to continue pursuing this guy. He would be a huge boost to the Vols’ 2022 class.