Ever since the start of July, Josh Heupel has been on a roll on the recruiting trail. On Monday, he secured the eighth commitment for Tennessee football during that time frame, the seventh for his 2022 class and the first commitment for the month of August. He just also happens to be their highest-rated commitment to date as well.
Georgia offensive lineman Addison Nichols announced his commitment to UT. A four-star across the board, Nichols chose the Vols over the Ohio State Buckeyes and North Carolina Tar Heels, who were revealed to be his top three schools in mid-July.
Coming out of Greater Atlanta Area Christian School in Norcross, Ga., which is in Gwinnett County, Nichols stands at 6’5″ and weighs in the range of 300 to 320 pounds. He revealed his decision to join Tennessee football on Twitter.
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Listed as an offensive tackle on Rivals and ESPN and an interior offensive lineman on 247Sports, Nichols clearly stands out for being a versatile lineman. Given what UT is facing in the future, that means he’s likely to play immediately.
Right now, the most standout blocker for Rocky Top is Cade Mays, but he will likely leave for the NFL Draft after this year. Meanwhile, Riley Locklear just retired due to injury, and both Jerome Carvin and K’Rojhn Calbert are seniors likely to be gone after this year as well. Combine that with the recent transfer of Wanya Morris, and there will be plenty of openings in 2022.
This makes Nichols’ commitment a huge deal for the Vols. He obviously brings a ton to the table for UT, and Heupel will likely try to plug him into the rotation immediately given his potential. Here is a look at his highlight reel.
As you can see, Nichols plays on both sides of the ball and actually has the speed to play defensive end. That will make him a very valuable blocker, particularly in Heupel’s up-tempo system. His ability to get an immediate push when the ball is snapped is a huge deal.
It’s clear that Nichols bolsters Tennessee football’s 2022 recruiting class as just their third unanimous four-star following Memphis-area wide receiver Cameron Miller and Indiana quarterback Tayven Jackson. All three will be integral to the Vols’ offense in the future.
At the same time, Nichols bolsters the o-line depth by joining Masai Reddick and Maurice Clipper. However, he’s the standout star among the three, which is why he’ll likely immediately be in the rotation next year. Simply put, he’s a huge get for Heupel.