Tennessee added a big piece to the 2017 class on Wednesday afternoon.
Four-star defensive lineman Matthew Butler (Garner, N.C) committed to Tennessee over an offer list that included dozens of schools such as Texas A&M, South Carolina, Alabama, Miami, Arkansas Virginia Tech and over a dozen others.
— Matthew Butler (@mattbutler_45) December 21, 2016
Butler is ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 16 defensive end/defensive tackle in the 2017 class, according to 247Sports. He put eye-popping stats his senior year in high school, recording 26 sacks and 44 TFLs in 13 games in 2016, according to Max Preps.
He is the third defensive end in this class for Tennessee, joining Deandre Johnson and LaTrell Bumphus. The Vols will likely be replacing at least three defensive ends after this season with Derek Barnett expected to go pro and departing seniors Corey Vereen and LaTroy Lewis also wrapping up their UT careers.
Defensive end will be a spot where the Vols need young players to provide depth, and Butler, a big (6-4, 265 pound) versatile player who will give them some options along the defensive front.
Tennessee now has 26 commitments in a class ranked No. 11 nationally by 247Sports.