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 seem to have at least some interest in the Vols in return.
Defensive end Greg Emerson
6-4, 275 pounds
Jackson, Tenn. (North Side)
Early top offers: Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Florida State, Oregon, Georgia
Scouting report: One of the best players in the nation is based out of Jackson, Tenn., and the Vols are going to have to fight off the likes of Alabama and Ohio State to get him. Sound familiar?
One of the keys to the class, again, will come from West Tennessee, leaving Butch Jones with the tough task of going into that battleground territory and pulling out an elite player. He’ll have some help with Trey Smith and LaTrell Bumphus – players that Emerson visited UT with in the past – already on campus.
On the field, Emerson is a man-child with a college-ready frame (6-4, 275) already. He could grow into an interior defensive lineman, but he plays end at the high school level. When you watch his film, you can see that sometimes he’s more of a read-and-react player. Some of the might be because of the defensive scheme, but he can be a bit hesitant off the ball and waits for the play to develop before attacking at times.
When he makes his read, however, he’s an astounding force that runs over anything in his path to get to the ball carrier. He simply has size and speed that can’t be taught. That’s why he’s considered by most to be one of the 50 best players in the nation. Defensive line coach Brady Hoke would have some technique concepts to work on with him, but the potential is undeniable.
Emerson plans to cut his list of schools down to six in March. Expect Tennessee to make that and be a factor in his decision all the way through.