Tennessee football makes cut for JuCo DL Jeffrey M’ba, who is from overseas

With in-state and No. 1 prospect Walter Nolen verbally committing to the Texas A&M Aggies, Tennessee football needs to look elsewhere to shore up its defensive line. Why not go the JuCo route for the No. 1 prospect? Also, why not try the overseas route given the success they have had with such prospects in basketball?

Well, that appears to be exactly what Josh Heupel is trying to do. UT made the top 10 for junior college defensive lineman Jeffrey M’Ba. Currently an attendee at Independence Community College in France, M’ba was initially a member of the 2020 class out of Connecticut.

Joining Tennessee football on M’ba’s list are the Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks, Auburn Tigers, N.C. State Wolfpack, Missouri Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, USC Trojans, Houston Cougars, Jackson State Tigers. He announced the schools Wednesday on Twitter.

Although he is a three-star on Rivals and not yet rated on ESPN, M’ba is a four-star on 247Sports JuCo and the 247Sports Composite JuCo. Standing at 6’6″ and weighing somewhere between 305 and 315 pounds, he is ranked the No. 1 overall JuCo player on both boards.

M’ba is originally from the Congo and then moved to France, where he played football. He eventually made his way to the United States. Initially part of the 2020 class out of St. Thomas More High School in Oakdale, Conn., Thomas is listed as a defensive tackle across the board.

When he was coming out of high school, ESPN listed Thomas as a four-star, and Rivals still listed him as a three-star. However, that means two of the major three services have or had him at a four-star rating at some point.

This is all good news for the Vols, who need help at the defensive line beyond this year with Matthew Butler, LaTrell Bumphus, Ja’Quain Blakely and Aubrey Solomon all likely to be gone after this year. They need immediate help.

There are no favorites to land M’ba right now on the 247Sports or Rivals Future Cast, but Tennessee football is tied with the Kansas State Wildcats as the favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast. Although the poll is not scientific, that’s good news for UT, especially with KSU not making the cut. As a result, Josh Heupel should keep pushing.