A Look at Tennessee's Early 2022 Defensive Back and Linebacker Prospects as September 1st Approaches

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September 1st is a big day for Juniors in the high school recruiting world, as college coaches can begin calling players directly. It is always tough to predict exactly who will be on the list, but there are several names we feel confident about that we are going to share in a three-part series. 

This portion of the series will focus on the defensive backs and linebackers. 

Cornerbacks

Tennessee has a chance to load up on offensive skill players in 2022, but one of the guys that could end up the defensive side ball from in-state is Kody Jones. Jones lists as an athlete, but he projects as more of a corner at the college level. He is dynamic with solid ball skills, and the two parties seem to have a mutual interest early. Jones is receiving interest from several schools, and his phoneline should be hot on Tuesday. 

Outside of Jones, it is tough to see who the Vols will truly prioritize at the position. Some guys that are coveted on a national level are Jeadyn Lukus out of Mauldin (S.C.), Trequon Fegans out of Oxford (Ala.), and JaDarian Rhym out of Valdosta (Ga.). 

Safety

Staying on the in-state mantra, there is Riverdale HS stand out Elijah Herring. We will have an on Herring later in the week, but there is serious mutual interest between both parties. He likes Tennessee a lot, and the Vols could be tough to beat in this one. It is safe to say he will get a call from someone on Tennessee's staff on Tuesday. 

Another name to know here is Dainsus Miller out of Creekside (Ga.). Yes, the same school as Eric Berry. Tennessee offered the talented prospect in late 2019, and he seems to be a viable target to watch here. 

Linebackers

Tennessee has only sent out a handful of offers at inside linebacker, but they covet versatile in their linebackers so they will recruit just like that. 

One guy that Tennessee will likely reach out to is Jalon Walker (N.C.). He is a versatile prospect who is an alpha at the position. He is comfortable anywhere on the field, and he recently picked up a Tennessee offer. His recruitment is a national one with LSU being one of the main schools in contact.

Another name to watch here is Jaron Willis out of Lee County (Ga.) A big, physical specimen who is capable of playing all over the defense. He already holds offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee. 

Jeremy Pruitt covets length on the edge of his defense, and Keaten Wade possesses just that. Tennessee has been viewed as the favorite here for a while but teams such as Penn State and South Carolina pose a threat.