As Tennessee football has been rapidly filling out its 2022 recruiting class this month, they have been rapidly drawing interest from other elite prospects across multiple classes. With four-star quarterback Tayven Jackson committed, the Vols are likely to draw more interests for Indiana prospects as well.
Over the weekend, that’s exactly what happened. Rocky Top made the top 12 for linebacker Drayk Bowen. A four-star on Rivals and ESPN and a five-star on 247Sports out of Andrean High School in Merrillville, Ind., Bowen stands at 6’2″ and weighs 215 pounds.
Joining Tennessee football on Bowen’s list are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan Wolverines, Clemson Tigers, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, Virginia Tech Hokies, South Carolina Gamecocks, Ole Miss Rebels and N.C. State Wolfpack. He announced the schools Saturday afternoon on Twitter.
Obviously, linebacker is a huge position of need going forward for the Vols. Even with the additions they got in the transfer portal in Juwan Mitchell from the Texas Longhorns and William Mohan from Michigan, the losses this past year were just too much.
Henry To’o To’o joining the Alabama Crimson Tide and Quavaris Crouch joining the Michigan State Spartans were the biggest reasons the Vols suffered such a huge hit in the transfer portal, although Wanya Morris and Eric Gray joining the Oklahoma Sooners also hurt. Heck, J.J. Peterson was another linebacker loss just like To’o To’o and Crouch, and he had potential.
Simply put, Heupel needs to load up as much as possible at that position. He’s got Elijah Herring committed for 2022, but an elite prospect like Bowen would be huge to kick off their 2023 class. He brings immediate talent and also fills a major need.
Currently, Notre Dame is the overwhelming favorite to land Bowen, unanimously on the Rivals Future Cast and 247Sports Crystal Ball and by a majority on the Rivals Fan Future Cast. However, it’s still early.
Jackson commitment to Tennessee football could help, but he comes out of Johnson County, located in the central towards the southern part of the state, and Bowen comes out of Ross Township, Lake County, which is in the northwest portion of the state. As a result, Heupel will have to use other magic to get this guy.