Vols Add Late Addition to 2020 Class in Edge Rusher Gaddy

Brandon Martin

Tennessee is on pace to make some waves in recruiting news to start the week. Earlier in the day, the Vols secured the commitment of three-star running back Jaylen Wright out of North Carolina. New Tennessee running back coach Jay Graham played was the lead recruiter on Wright, and the North Carolina native landed a recruit from the territory he has multiple ties to. Shortly after, another new coach on the Tennessee staff helped to secure a commitment. Joe Osovet, the new tight end coach for Tennessee, has extensive recruiting ties in the Northeast. He was the lead recruiter on a late addition to the 2020 class, in preferred walk-on Isaiah Gaddy. Gaddy is a product of Neumann Goretti High School (Philadelphia, PA).

Gaddy is an interesting prospect to review on film. He played all over the front seven for Neumann Goretti, but spent most of his time playing with his hand in the dirt in an odd man front. Gaddy is listed at 6’2” and 230 pounds now, but it appears he added weight during the season, and continued to add muscle after the season. Those measurables would see Gaddy likely listed as a tweener if he was playing as a 4-3 defensive end, but he was surprisingly small to be playing end, and at times nose tackle, in a 3-4. Gaddy makes up for any lack of size by consistently showing outstanding strength on film. He has the speed to beat offensive tackles around the edge, as well as the speed to close out ball carriers, but he most often creates those opportunities for himself off of a bull rush, or by getting under an offensive lineman, driving them back, getting across their face, and shedding them with a hump move most often associated with Reggie White. Gaddy uses his hands well and shows the tools to regularly pressure the quarterback, as well as attack the run. He especially flows to the football well and blows up interior runs as he comes in from the edge. 

Size will again make Gaddy interesting as he slots into Tennessee's defense. Gaddy is closer in size to what the Vols look for in linebackers. His strength could see him prove a valuable depth asset within that group inside, while his pass rush technique should allow him to be evaluated as a potential outside linebacker as well. The challenge for Gaddy will be to prove that he can play in coverage when asked after spending most of his time in high school on the defensive line. Gaddy is a strong athlete with solid size. His strength, technique, and solid tackling should see him factor into the equation for Tennessee on special teams at least, while he could develop into a depth or rotational linebacker later in his career.

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