Tennessee football makes cut for 2023 Georgia DL Tavion Gadson

Jenkins High's Tavion Gadson runs drills during spring practice.
Jenkins High's Tavion Gadson runs drills during spring practice. /

Traditional 4-3 defensive ends who we call hybrid defensive linemen in Tim Banks’ system have been a focus for Tennessee football on the recruiting trail in the most recent classes. The Vols added two such players this past offseason and have secured two commitments for 2023.

Now, Josh Heupel has Rocky Top trending for another such prospect in that class. Tavion Gadson out of Savannah, Ga., is a three-star across the board except for ESPN, where he is not yet rated. He currently has the Vols in his top five.

Joining Tennessee football on Gadson’s list are the Georgia Bulldogs, Florida State Seminoles, Kentucky Wildcats and Minnesota Golden Gophers. He announced the schools late Wednesday night with a graphic on Twitter.

Standing between 6’4″ and 6’5″ while weighing in the range of 265 to 280 pounds, Gadson is listed as a strongside defensive end on Rivals, a defensive end on ESPN and a defensive lineman on 247Sports and On3. Given UT’s system, that means he’d play up on the line.

With the recent departures of Caleb Tremblay and Ja’Quain Blakely, the two main contributors in this role from last year, it’s pretty obvious Heupel needs to build depth for the future here. After all, one if his offseason additions, Austin Lewis, is a graduate transfer with just one year of eligibility left.

As a result, the prospect out of Jenkins High School in Georgia’s Chatham County would be a heck of an addition. It would assure that there is plenty of competition to see the field going forward in this role, which is crucial for Banks and Rodney Garner.

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Currently, FSU is the overwhelming favorite to land him. They are a unanimous favorite on the Rivals Future Cast, a plurality favorite on On3 and a majority favorite on the Rivals Fan Future Cast. The one 247Sports Crystal Ball projection also has FSU as the favorite with a medium confidence interval. However, nothing is set in stone, so Tennessee football shouldn’t give up.