Tennessee has a glaring need in their defensive front, and the Vols are trying to fix that on the recruiting trail. Tennessee has two current commits in true defensive linemen with KaTron Evans and Isaac Washington being pledged to the Vols for several months. We take a look at the other options Tennessee has upfront.
Ingram Dawkins is one of the top players in the nation. He transformed his body from a physical standpoint, and his recruitment has skyrocketed since. Tennessee has been on Ingram-Dawkins for months, and he has been high on them as well. Tennessee and Georgia have been considered the front-runners for months, but South Carolina is the home state school, and they remain in the picture. Ingram-Dawkins's relationship with Jeremy Pruitt is key for the Vols if they hope to win out in his recruitment. He is a player they believe can make an immediate impact with his six-foot-five, 300 pounds frame.
Ingram-Dawkins's SIAA bottom line eval: Ingram-Dawkins possesses every physical attribute recruiters look for from defensive linemen. Already versatile enough to play multiple roles in different schemes, and will only grow more so with additional weight and strength. Projects as multi-year impact starter and eventual NFL draft pick.
The New Jersey native is a two-sport star, and he plans to play both college football and baseball. Tennessee is doing a solid job of recruiting him on both sides. The Vols are making a strong push for him, and he intends to announce his decision in January at the Under Armour All-American Game. Tennessee has plenty of time to make a strong pitch to Malone, and he has indicated that he continues to build a strong relationship with Tennessee's entire staff.
Malone's SIAA bottom line evaluation: Malone is a big and athletic defensive lineman with positional versatility. He has the size, bulk and strength to 2-gap for a defensive front, yet he also possesses the athleticism and range to factor as a gap-penetrator. He plays with a high-hat and must improve his leverage consistency, but offers many interesting traits to work with and develop to reach his high ceiling. Malone can fit as a 5-technique or 4I in a 30-front or 3-technique in a 40-front, while also potentially rushing as a nose tackle in sub-packages as he adds to his toolbox.
Weaver is an under the radar name on this list, and he possesses a lot of physical upside at six-foot-eight, 280 pounds. Weaver is one of the more athletic defensive linemen in the class, and he flashes as a 4-5 technique. Weaver holds double-digit offers from Division 1 schools, and he is nearing a commitment decision of October 31st. Weaver intends to announce between Indiana, Nebraska, and Tennessee. By all indiciations, the Vols appear to be in a great position, if they choose to make a serious run at Weaver.
Tennessee will look to add at least a couple of guys to its 2021 class.