— Jay Blakely (@BlakelyJay) August 2, 2015
Tennessee added a commitment Saturday night in 6-foot-2, 215-pound 2016 linebacker Ja’Quain “Jay” Blakely of Moultrie, Ga., and Colquitt County High School. He becomes the second commitment in the past few days, joining running back Carlin File-aime, who pledged to the Vols on Thursday.
Blakely chose Tennessee over nearly two dozen other offers including Arkansas, Michigan, Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska and Mississippi State. He becomes the 15th commitment in the class of 2016 and the third linebacker in the class, joining in-state prospects Tim Hart and Daniel Bituli.
Full RTI profile for Blakely:
Other top offers
Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, Arkansas, Nebraska
Though he wasn’t a complete stranger to Tennessee, Blakely surprised many by committing to the Vols on the night of Aug. 1. He received an offer from Tennessee in the spring and had been on the radar, but wasn’t among the top names circulating that Tennessee would be zeroing in on for the final few spots remaining in the class. That’s in part because he hadn’t been a regular visitor, and also in part because many thought UT might be done with Daniel Bituli and Tim Hart on board as linebacker commitments. None the less, Blakely made the move, Tennessee accepted and he became the 15th member of the class.
RTI average: 3-stars
How He Fits
Blakely plays outside linebacker for Colquitt County and does a lot of things well. He clearly has a knack for pass rushing, and that seems to be one of the ways his high school team likes to utilize him the most.
But he does more, including helping in run support, pass coverage and he plays on multiple special teams units. And while it’s surprising to some that Tennessee now has three linebackers in this class, there’s also the possibility that Bituli could get a look as a defensive end, opening up an opportunity for Blakely. One thing is certain – you can’t have too many big, athletic players who can not only help out on defense, but bolster special teams as well.