If the start of the 2017 class is a good indication, the Vols might contend for the No. 1 overall class in the country that year.
Tennessee landed its second top prospect for the 2017 cycle in two days, adding Oak Ridge (Tenn.) standout Tee Higgins, giving five-star and top-ranked quarterback Hunter Johnson, who committed to Tennessee on Sunday, a top target in his class.
“I want to thank my mom, my sister and the rest of my family,” Higgins said in a video he posted on Twitter Monday night. “I want to thank all of my coaches for being there for me. After discussing with my mother, I want to say, I’ve officially committed to the University of Tennessee.”
Higgins, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound receiver, isn’t quite as highly-regarded in the rankings as Johnson, but he’s right on the cusp of elite status. He’s a top-100 prospect in the 2017 class according to all four major recruiting rankings, and is in the top 60 nationally on Rivals, 247Sports and Scout. The 247Sports Composite ranking puts him at No. 43 overall in the nation, the eighth best receiver and the top player in the state of Tennessee.
The local product, who has been a regular visitor to campus over the past couple years, chose the in-state Vols over offers from many of the nation’s best, including Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and several others.
RTI average: 4-stars
How He Fits:
Higgins is a long, fluid athlete who loves to use his size and athleticism to out-jump his competition in high school and come away with many 50/50 type balls. He has the speed and elusiveness to work himself open too. He’s just as comfortable going down the boundary for a deep ball as he is going over the middle or taking a quick screen and making defenders miss. He moves extremely well for somebody his size and has a little bit of that Justin Hunter-like long stride and athleticism that can be a nightmare for opposing defensive backs.
Receiver is a big point of emphasis in both the 2016 and the 2017 classes for the Vols. Marquez North, Von Pearson, Pig Howard, Jason Croom are among the players on the current roster who have just one or two years or eligibility remaining, so finding the next generation of pass catchers for what appears to be a stacked group of future quarterbacks as well is a priority for Tennessee over the next couple recruiting cycles.