Based on what happened this past year, it’s hard to predict exactly what needs Tennessee football will have in 2022. However, they will clearly have a need at linebacker, edge rusher and in the secondary. A new commitment from Kentucky can fill any of those voids.
Kalib Perry, who is listed as a linebacker out of Georgetown, Ky., committed to Rocky Top over the weekend. A three-star on Rivals and 247Sports out of Scott County’s Great Crossing High School, Perry is originally from South Carolina, according to Ryan Callahan of GoVols247. He stands at 6’3″ and weights 215 pounds.
Rivals specifically lists Perry as an outside linebacker, but his Twitter page notes that he plays quarterback, wide receiver and free safety, demonstrating his versatility. He announced his commitment to Tennessee football with an announcement that went up on Great Crossing’s athletic YouTube page Saturday.
Given the fact that he plays free safety and can play on the outside, it’s clear that Perry could play defensive back, edge rusher or linebacker at the college level. The Vols are already severely depleted at linebacker, so Perry, along with commitment Elijah Herring, bolsters that position.
At the same time, Trevon Flowers could be gone this year, leaving a major void at safety, and if Jaylen McCollough has a surprise breakout year, don’t be surprised if he starts drawing the eyes of NFL scouts. That could leave multiple voids Perry could fill.
According to Callahan’s report, the Vols lined Perry up at defensive back, linebacker and even on the defensive line when he attended their camp on June 1. Simply put, he has the potential to play a lot of different roles. Here is a look at his highlight reel.
As you can see, his highlight video adds running back to his profile. At this point, he should just be labeled an athlete. However, on defense, where he is likely to stay, he has a great feel for playing coverage. He clearly knows when to attack and when to provide a cushion, and that allows him to come through with multiple big plays.
With Perry’s commitment, Tennessee football’s number of players in its 2022 class increases to 12. The Vols also have four defensive players, three of whom can play edge rusher, which is a key focus for Josh Heupel going forward. However, there are clearly plenty of other focuses that Perry could help with given his versatility.