3. Alexis Johnson, DT
If it’s possible to be a four-star JUCO defensive tackle and be underrated, then Alexis Johnson is just that.
When Johnson committed to the Vols in the summer of 2015, he wasn’t greeted with a great deal of fanfare. At the time, he was a borderline three/four-star tackle who had a good body but wasn’t very well known. Over half a year has passed, and Vol fans still aren’t as enamored with Johnson as they should be.
At 6-foot-4, 290-plus pounds, Johnson already has the size to play at defensive tackle in the SEC. And his performance at the junior college ranks pushed him from a mid-level prospect to a four-star, more respected recruit by season’s end.
In 2015, Johnson totaled 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks. His film shows a great swim move and pursuit to the ball carrier and quarterback, and his athleticism belies his size. Johnson held offers from Baylor, Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State among others. And that offer list should speak to his ability more than anything.
Johnson has the ability to contribute immediately at defensive tackle for the Vols in 2016. He could end up playing a big role in the tackle rotation in his first year at Tennessee if he can do similar things at the collegiate level as he did in junior college.