Saturday was a big day for Tennessee football. They landed one of the top prospects in the 2018 class when elite linebacker JJ Peterson announced his commitment to the Vols during the US Army High school All-American game, moving their class to 16th in the 247Sports rankings. Peterson is the No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2018 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
But while all this was going on, head coach Jeremy Pruitt and his staff were making moves in the 2019 cycle as well.
2019 three-star defensive tackle Lloyd Murray Jr. picked up an offer from the Vols Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-2, 310 pound defensive tackle from Wichita Falls, Texas tweeted the news out earlier in the day. He currently plays for Hirschi High School.
— 55 $ (@OfficialLloydM) January 6, 2018
Murray holds offers from more than 20 schools including Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia despite being ranked as a lower three-star prospect. While there is only one crystal ball prediction casted, that ball goes towards Oklahoma on 247Sports. He was once committed to Florida state, but he decommitted as the Seminoles went through a coaching change.
He is near the top 100 in the state of Texas, a state the Vols have been very active recruiting in lately. And the offer to Murray is another example of their efforts in the lone star state.
The run stuffing nose tackle perfectly fits the mold of a what Pruitt looks for in his 3-4 defense. Murray is a big bodied lineman who can eat up a double team and hold his ground against the double team. In his junior season, he had 40 tackles, two sacks, and recovered three fumbles.
A look at Murray’s film shows a dominant force in the middle of the line. He is an elite play-maker, and he can be seen throwing offensive lineman out of his way on a consistent basis. He has a high motor, and despite his size, he is a three down lineman. He is predominantly used to stop the run, but he’s still a more than capable pass rusher. He does, however, play way too high consistently. He can get away with it in high school because of his strength, but he will have to lower his pad level in college.
He may just be a three-star, but Murray is an elite player in the 2019 class. A look at the schools that have offered him is very telling. Some of the best teams in the nation have been pursuing him for a long time.
Tennessee has to make up a lot of ground, but Lloyd Murray Jr. would be an excellent addition to any class, but the vols could especially use him in their 3-4 defense in the future.