If Josh Heupel and Tennessee football should target any type of player, edge rushers on the defensive line and elite targets with connections to the area are near the top of the list. Recently, the Vols made the cut for a 2023 prospect from Alabama who fits both criteria.
Tomarrion Parker, a four-star defensive lineman across all services, has UT in his top seven. Coming out of Central High School in Phenix City, Ala., Parker was born in Knoxville, Tenn., according to Ryan Callahan of GoVols247. He is 6’4″ and weighs between 235 and 256 pounds.
Joining Tennessee football on Parker’s list are the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida Gators, Texas A&M Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, Michigan Wolverines and Penn State Nittany Lions. He announced the schools Sunday afternoon on Twitter.
Edge rushers up front are going to be a crucial focus for Heupel over the next two years on the trail. Matthew Butler, LaTrell Bumphus and Ja’Quain Blakely all figure to play that role this season, but they are all in their final year of eligibility.
Taking that into account, this is actually a bigger position of need for 2022, and Heupel at least already has a commitment from Venson Sneed. Still, a guy like Parker for 2023 would be a major addition. Of course, we’re listing him as more of an edge rusher given his size. He’d need to add about 40 pounds at least to be able to move to the middle.
Either way, Tim Banks’ nickel-heavy 4-3 defense needs a solid rotation on the defensive line and will have players locked in at more of a certain position. Parker could help fill that role, and he could be an immediate contributor in 2023.
Right now, there are no predictions to land Parker on any platform. The Auburn Tigers led by a plurality on the Rivals Fan Future Cast, but they didn’t even make this cut. As a result, it’s safe to say Tennessee football appears to be as much a favorite as anybody, and Heupel should continue to do his best to bring this elite prospect back to where he was born.