Three Tennessee commitments were honored by Parade over the weekend, and two of them might not be the ones that you would expect.
One of the more prestigious All-America honors a player can receiver, Parade keeps its team to 56 total players in the nation. It explains its methodology here:
“In selecting the All-America Team, Parade contributor Brian McLaughlin—a national senior writer covering college football and recruiting for HERO Sports out of Seattle—considered all-state teams, state player of the year honors and statistics and his own observations. On offense, he looked for players who had outstanding senior seasons while also exhibiting Division I potential. When it came to defensive players, McLaughlin looked for elite playmakers—top athletes who could change games.”
It won’t be much of a surprise that offensive lineman Trey Smith, who has already enrolled at Tennessee, received honorable mention status. Ranked as high as the No. 1 player in the nation by ESPN, Smith has loaded up on national honors.
But the other two future Vols listed are more under-the-radar prospects in the 2017 class. Defensive lineman Matthew Butler, ranked as a three-star, was named a first-team defensive lineman, while outside linebacker Solon Page III, also a three-star prospect, received honorable mention.
Page (Marietta, Ga.) had a monster senior season, recording 178 tackles, 23 TFLs, a pair of sacks and an interception, according to MaxPreps. The same can be said of Butler, who recorded 96 tackles, 44 TFLs and an eye-popping 26 sacks, according to MaxPreps as well.
Those two might not be the highest-rated in the class, but the Vols are getting two of the more productive high school players in the nation.