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Reranking the 2015 Tennessee Signing Class

Shy Tuttle-1

 Defensive Line

Shy Tuttle 
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? Tuttle was a five-star prospect earlier in the recruiting process and then, somewhat inexplicably, was dropped down to a four star. He looked more like the five-star variety of player in his freshman year, which was cut short by a midseason injury. Tuttle seemed to be a step ahead of higher-regarded teammate Kahlil McKenzie in camp and early in the season. He looks like a future potential All-SEC player who could thrive under Bob Shoop’s aggressive defensive scheme.

Kahlil McKenzie
Initial ranking: ★★★★★
Was it a good ranking? Nobody can blame analysts for ranking him as one of the top prospects in the nation. He has great bloodlines, he looks like a defensive tackle prospect created on a video game and he showed some early flashes of brilliance once he got on campus. He was, however, a touch rusty and out of shape after not playing during his senior year in high school. Still, he got better and better as the season went on and begun to really act and play the part of a five star later in the season. Because he wasn’t quite as dominant as some expected during his first year, I’m going to knock him down to a high four star, but he certainly still has time to live up to those lofty expectations.
Rerank: ★★★★

Kyle Phillips
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? Phillips was right on the cusp of being a five star in the composite rankings and was one in some of the other individual site rankings. But one concern with him coming out was his health, and that issue cropped up in 2015 when he went down with a shoulder injury in early November. He looks the part and showed some flashes in his limited opportunities before that, but was never the early-impact guy that some predicted. If reranked, I put him more as a low four star while he proves that he can stay healthy and consistent, though the ability is certainly all there.
Rerank: ★★★

Andrew Butcher
Initial ranking: ★★★★
Was it a good ranking? Butcher got some work in during spring practice, but his freshman campaign ended before it truly started when he underwent surgery over the summer. I can’t truly rerank a guy who didn’t even participate in fall camp.
Rerank: Incomplete 

Darrell Taylor
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? With the Vols having some depth at defensive end, they had the luxury of redshirting the undersized Taylor, who is a top-flight athlete playing on the defensive line. The coaches raved about his development late in the season and he could be a sleeper to watch in the coming years, especially in 2017 when Derek Barnett likely moves on and Corey Vereen and LaTroy Lewis will be one as well. It’s mostly on upside, but I don’t have a problem keeping him as a low four star based on some of the buzz I’ve heard about him from people around the program.
Rerank: ★★★

Quay Picou
Initial ranking: ★★★
Was it a good ranking? After enrolling late due to some eligibility issues, Picou picked up the defense enough to make his debut in Week 3 against Western Carolina and then to appear in four more games after that. Truthfully, I’m not sure why the coaches decided to play him and waste his redshirt, but that was their call on him. He’s a bit of a tweener that looks small for a defensive tackle and big for a defensive end. I’m not sure exactly where and how he fits in going forward, though he moves well for his size, so three star works for me.
Rerank: ★★★

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