Monday night, Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt was on the field at the Sugar Bowl helping coach Alabama to a victory over Clemson in the semifinals of the College Football Playoffs. Tuesday, he and his staff were back to work for the Vols, trying to bolster their 2018 recruiting class.
Otito Ogbonnia, a composite three-star defensive tackle according to 247Sports, tweeted out that he received an offer from the Vols on Tuesday afternoon. The 6-foot-4, 290 pound defensive tackle is from Katy, Texas and plays for Taylor High school.
— otito (@otitoogbonnia12) January 2, 2018
Tennessee became the 9th school to offer Ogbonnia, throwing their name in the hat with schools such as Texas Tech, Notre Dame and Ole Miss. On 247Sports, only one crystal ball prediction has been cast for him thus far, and that prediction goes to Texas Tech. The Red Raider are viewed as his current favorite.
Ogbonnia is ranked as a top 100 player in the state of Texas and 53rd at his position. Despite his lower ranking, he is viewed by many as a sleeper prospect. He has posted great numbers in the weight room, benching 350 pounds while squatting and deadlifting 600 pounds.
If he were to sign with the Vols, he would become the 5th listed defensive tackle in Tennessee’s 2018 class. This is a surprisingly high number, especially considering the Vols are moving to a 3-4 defensive front. The position is one, however, that Tennessee lacks a lot of depth at, and it wouldn’t be crazy to think that some of them could change positions upon arrival.
A look at his film shows a very physical and raw prospect. He plays quick, and shows great form when tackling. He does a good job holding his ground and getting off blocks. He is however, a little on the smaller side for a true nose tackle. He also plays too high up. He will have to play with a lower pad level at the next level. If a defensive lineman exposes his numbers on a consistent basis, he will get handled all day. Overall, Ogbonnia is not the kind of guy to make an instant impact, but he could be developed into a solid player.
Tennessee currently has the No. 22 class for the 2018 cycle per 247Sports. With just 14 prospects signed, there is still plenty of room for this class to rise. The Vols have their eyes on plenty of top prospects, and if they could get Otito Ogbonnia, it would be a great addition to the class.