There’s no doubt that Tennessee football could use a few more elite defensive linemen in 2022. However, it may be a bit ambitious to try to steal one from Nick Saban’s backyard in Alabama. That’s exactly what Josh Heupel appears to be doing.
The Vols made the top 10 for Montgomery, Ala. defensive lineman Khurtiss Perry. Listed as a four-star top 100 player across all services and a defensive tackle specifically on Rivals and ESPN, Perry hails from Park Crossing High School. He stands between 6’2″ and 6’3″ and weighs in the range of 265 to 270 pounds.
Joining Tennessee football on Perry’s list are the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers, Texas Longhorns, Ohio State Buckeyes, Miami Hurricanes, UCF Knights, Oregon Ducks and Michigan Wolverines. He announced the schools Sunday night on Twitter.
With Darel Middleton and Greg Emerson having entered the transfer portal, John Mincey having transferred and Aubrey Solomon, Matthew Butler, LaTrell Bumphus and Ja’Quain Blakely all entering their final year of eligibility, it’s clear that every spot on the defensive line needs new talent. This is the area the Vols need to recruit most heavily.
Perry would bring a lot of value on that front. Given his size, he appears to be more of a defensive end, but in Tim Banks’ 4-3 based nickel-heavy scheme, he could definitely line up where he’s listed, in the middle. Either way, though, he’d be extremely helpful up front.
Currently, the Vols have defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and defensive end Venson Sneed committed for 2022, but they need more help. There are unproven guys who joined the program with a lot of hype, but a deeper rotation is still crucial.
No predictions exist for Perry on the Rivals Future Cast. Alabama, however, is the favorite by a plurality on the Rivals Fan Future Cast, and the only 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction also has him picking Bama with a medium confidence interval. As a result, Tennessee football will have to do some work to land this guy.