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Nation’s Top Prospect Hoping To Visit Tennessee

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The nation’s top prospect in the 2016 class is now planning to visit Knoxville at some point this year.

Rashan Gary, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle from Paramus, N.J., is the No. 1 overall player in 247Sports’ Composite Ranking, and is now adding a stop in Knoxville to his already-busy slate of recruiting trips.

“I’m trying to go to Tennessee with Jarrett (Guarantano) and a couple other guys,” Gary told Bleacher Report. “A lot of guys are trying to get me to go places, but that’s one that stands out a bit.”

Guarantano has been an active recruiter for Tennessee since committing to the Vols on April 15, and it’s no surprise to see elite, New Jersey-based prospects now paying more attention to the Vols since the four-star quarterback came on board a couple weeks ago.

Guarantano has reportedly been working on 5-star running back and Ohio State commitment Kareem Walker, also a New Jersey native.

And while Guarantano is a factor in Gary’s interest in Tennessee, the allure of the SEC, a conference Gary holds at least five offers from, is also playing into his decision.

“It’s grown-man football down there, and these teams have had a lot of defensive players reach the next level,” Gary told Bleacher Report. “I’ve been interested in the SEC since those schools started offering me early.”

Adding Gary would bring even more star power to an extremely talented group of defensive linemen Tennessee is collecting.

The Vols landed arguably their greatest defensive line class in history in 2015 that included Kahlil McKenzie, Kyle Phillips and Shy Tuttle, all of whom were ranked as a five-star by at least one service at some point in the recruiting process, in addition to Andrew Butcher, Quay Picou and Darrell Taylor. The Vols return 3/4 starters from 2014 as well, in addition to several key backups.

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