Over the course of the offseason, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the top names to know in the 2018 class These players either have an offer or significant interest from Tennessee and seems to have at least some interest in the Vols in return.
Defensive tackle Brant Lawless
6-2, 290 pounds
Nashville, Tenn. (Nashville Christian)
Early offers: Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma
Scouting report: Former Vol defensive tackle Danny O’Brien, who came out of high school at about 6-2, 280, is the player who stuck out in my mind when watching Lawless’s film. He plays low, fast and does a really good job of using his hands to separate from offensive linemen and get into the backfield to make plays. Has the power to run through an offensive lineman, but his athleticism at his size is what stands out.
You can see plenty of examples of that in his highlight film. At one point, anticipating an offensive lineman cutting, so he leaps over him immediately after the ball is snapped and gets into the backfield. He effortlessly scoops up a fumble on another play and glides into the end zone like a skill player. And speaking of being a skill player, Lawless also lines up as running back in some goal-line situations and shows he can score that way as well.
Level of competition is one question, but he comes from the same school as Daniel Bituli, so there’s some precedent of coming out of Nashville Christian and being able to contribute early. The 2016 season was a reminder that you can never have too many defensive tackles, and with upperclassmen Kahlil McKenzie, Kendal Vickers, Shy Tuttle and Alexis Johnson all set to move on in the next couple years, the Vols need to make Lawless a big priority in the 2018 class.