Tennessee's class is already packed with numbers, but the Vols have several more key positions that they need to fill, and the offensive line is one of them. With only one commit on the board as an offensive lineman, Tennessee would likely take 3-4 more players at the position. However, yesterday, one top target (Dylan Fairchild) committed to Georgia, and another key in-state target (Dietrick Pennington) left Tennessee off of his list of five finalists. So, we take a look at what remains for at the position.
It all starts with Amarius Mims, and out of all the remaining targets, he is easily the toughest battle Tennessee has remaining. Mims may be the top target on several big boards across the country, and he is certainly high on Tennessee's. Mims is arguably the best offensive tackle in the class, and Tennessee wants him to be the cornerstone of their offensive line for years to come. Mims recently told VR2 on SI, "Tennessee has been recruiting me hard since they gave me an offer. I am very cool with Cody (Brown), Kamar (Wilcoxson), and Terrence (Lewis). I would like to play with those guys." Mims has a decision date set for the middle of October, and he could trim his list one more time before then.
Diego Pounds is one another top target on the board, and Tennessee is prioritizing him. A strong, growing relationship with Jeremy Pruitt has thrust the Vols deep into the recruitment for the North Carolina standout. Pounds is versatile enough to flex in and play guard if needed which makes him even more coveted in this class. Pounds recently released a top 15 list of schools, but he has yet to announce when a decision could be made.
William Parker remains as one of Tennessee's top prospects, and the Pearl Cohn standout is intrigued by the prospect of playing for Tennessee. He keeps his recruitment close to the vest, but the Volunteers remain as serious competitors for his services. Griffin recently told VR2, “after this year the spot is wide open. The coaches said they can see me coming in and getting on the field early, and to just keep working in the weight room.”
Another in-state option remains in J'marion Gooch. The Kings Academy standout caught the Vols by surprise when he popped up with a commitment to Auburn in the middle of April. Tennessee felt like they were in a good spot, and he still remains as an option they could flip heading into signing day.
Tennessee will continue to recruit Pennington, but the Vols will certainly look to re-evaluate and identify new targets for the remaining spots on the offensive line board. Tennessee extended an offer to in-state prospect DJ Harden in late 2019, but his recruitment has hit a standstill with the COVID-19 shutdown. He is a prospect who had a chance to see his stock take off over the Spring. Oak Park (MI) standout Rayshaun Benny is another prospect who could be considered, as Tennessee has tried to tap into the talent-rich pipeline on several occasions.