It looks the Vols have at least given themselves a chance with one recently de-committed prospect, however, with the hiring of former Penn State defensive coordination Bob Shoop to the same position in Knoxville.
Coach Shoop is legit.
— Jonathan Kongbo III (@King_Kongbo) January 10, 2016
Kongbo is a five-star, top-rated junior college defensive end who committed to Tennessee in November, only to open his recruitment back up in January, saying at that time that the Vols were still under consideration. His stock has gone significantly up in recent months with Alabama, Florida, Florida State and USC being among the many programs who offered him late in the process after a standout year at Arizona Western.
The native British Columbia is also taking a hard look at Washington, one of the closest major programs to his home.
The proof will be in the results on signing day, but, at least on the surface, Shoop appears to be a home-run hire both as an on-field coach and in the recruiting world. With extensive ties to the Nashville area after working at Vanderbilt from 2011-13, Shoop has connections that should pay dividends for the Vols. And his reputation as a top defensive mind should also help the Vols as they look to close on some defensive targets such as safety Nigel Warrior, defensive tackle Derrick Brown and others in the weeks leading up to signing day.
The Vols currently have four signees and 12 additional commitments in the 2016 cycle, a class that is expected to finish with around 20 players in the total class. Seven of those players are projected on the defensive side of the ball at this point, though several of the remaining targets, and potentially some new faces that Shoop’s hire may attract, could certainly add to that total.