Jeremy Pruitt just picked up his highest-rated commitment while serving as the Vols’ head football coach. And that prospect is one of the top defensive players in the 2018 class.
J.J. Peterson, a four-star linebacker from Moultrie, Georgia, announced at the U.S. Army All-American game that he will play for the Vols in 2018.
Peterson is rated as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2018 class and No. 44 overall player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He was strongly considering Alabama for a while, but once Pruitt took the job at Tennessee, Peterson’s mind began to change.
Then once Pruitt hired Georgia outside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer to be his defensive coordinator for the Vols, Peterson all but made up his mind.
Peterson holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, and others. At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Peterson could use to add some more weight to his frame if he wants to live up to his full potential. But his film shows exactly why Pruitt and his staff want him for their 3-4 defensive scheme.
His highlight film shows off his incredible athleticism. Peterson has a quick burst and deceptive speed. He played linebacker mostly, but he lined up on the defensive line a few times as well. He was even used as a kick returner for Colquitt County, and he returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Peterson is extremely fast and disruptive on defense, and he might be able to come in and contribute immediately as a freshman for the Vols.
As a senior, Peterson racked up 110 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, five sacks, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and two pass breakups according to Max Preps.
Tennessee now has 14 signees and four commitments in their 2018 class. Peterson is the second outside linebacker to commit to the Vols in the 2018 class, with the other being three-star Matthew Flint. Though Flint’s commitment is in question right now.