Earlier this week, Tennessee football drew one step closer to scoring a commitment from the top defensive lineman in the 2022 class. Now, the Vols could be in line for the top defensive lineman in the 2023 recruiting class.
The Vols made the top 12 for Atlanta-area defensive end Lebbeus Overton. A five-star across the board from Alpharetta, Ga. who attends Fulton County’s Milton High School, Overton is the No. 1 overall ranked player in the country on both 247Sports and ESPN. On Rivals, he is still a top 10 player, a top two defensive end and the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Georgia.
Joining Tennessee football on Overton’s list are the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Florida Gators, LSU Tigers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Ohio State Buckeyes, Texas A&M Aggies, Oklahoma Sooners, USC Trojans and Kentucky Wildcats. He announced the schools Wednesday afternoon on Twitter.
Listed as a strongside defensive end on Rivals, a defensive lineman on 247Sports and just a defensive end on ESPN, Overton stands between 6’3″ and 6’5″ and weighs in the range of 260 to 265 pounds. If Tim Banks does move to a nickel-heavy 4-3 base defense, Overton would definitely play on the line if he committed to UT.
One advantage the Vols have is the fact that Overton comes from the same place legendary Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs comes from. Dobbs is probably a household name around there, and that could certainly help with the Vols as they continue pursuing him.
Given lots of the upcoming departures up front this year, including Matthew Butler and LaTrell Bumphus, Overton would be a great pickup down the road. Defensive ends like him will be at a premium for Josh Heupel’s program, so he needs as many as he can get.
Currently, the only 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction has OU landing Overton with a medium confidence interval of five. OU and Alabama are tied for the favorites to land him on the Rivals Future Cast, while OU is the favorite by a plurality on the Rivals Fan Future Cast.
However, it’s still really early, and lots more predictions surrounding him are likely to come in later. As a result, Tennessee football has plenty of time to make up ground with Overton, and just being on his radar is a great start for them.