In the last five days, Tennessee has lost two major defensive commitments: 5-star linebacker Terrence Lewis, who decommitted Tuesday night, and 4-star cornerback DaMarius McGhee, who decommitted last week.
Lewis reiterated that Tennessee is still his top choice but that he wants to continue evaluating different options to “make sure.”
While Lewis and McGhee continue to evaluate their options, Tennessee did get a strong confirmation from 2021 linebacker commit Aaron Willis.
Willis released this tweet on Tuesday, letting fans know he’s “locked in” with the Vols:
Willis also confirmed his commitment with VR2 on SI via text later Tuesday night.
When asked if he wanted to expound on the tweet or share an update with fans, Willis said the following:
“Yeah I just want to let my Tennessee family know I ain’t [sic] going no where I’m here to stay.”
Tennessee’s linebackers have faced several questions this season, and for good reason, so retaining Willis is a big move.
Willis’ full SI All-American evaluation can be seen below, and a video from earlier this season can be seen above as well.
Prospect: Aaron Willis
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot, 205 pounds
School: Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy
Committed to: Tennessee
Projected Position: Linebacker
Frame: Compact build with muscle definition in the upper and lower extremities. Room to add mass as needed.
Athleticism: Quicker than fast with tangible closing speed and pop on contact. Closes distance between he and assignment well from depth and in tight quarters. Runs with lean and as much flash as any downhill prospect in the 2021 recruiting cycle.
Instincts: Lives in the backfield off of aggression and quickness off the ball. Anticipates well off the line as well as during any pre-snap movement situation. Some control leads to samples of lateral ability and consistency against national schedule and high level competition.
Polish: Accelerated play diagnostics and a quick trigger combines for flash plays from multiple positions. Times blitzes incredibly well and can make plays through contact with natural leverage and explosive ability. Tools to hold own in coverage with enough quickness to combat a running back or tight end. Room to improve extension and hand usage against blockers.
Bottom Line: Willis has head-turning striking ability as an ultra-aggressive second level prospect. The compact frame could limit the amount of time he spends as a true edge prospect at the next level but the short-area power and comfort playing in space could eventually help him develop into three-down territory in college. At a minimum, he has special teams ace traits to his name.