Vols Extend Late Offer to Versatile Defensive End

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    Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

    Tennessee’s coaches aren’t done handing out scholarships for prospects in the 2018 class despite the fact that National Signing Day is less than 24 hours away now.

    The Vols sent an offer to defensive lineman Jermayne Lole late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Lole is a three-star defensive end who played for Long Beach Poly in California in high school. He’s rated as the No. 593 overall player and No. 26 defensive end in the class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

    Lole currently holds offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Washington State, San Diego State, Colorado State, UNLV, and others. He’s visited San Diego State, Washington State, Utah State, and Arizona State.

    Getting an offer this late in the game from Tennessee likely means the Vols feel they can sway him to sign with them if they have room. Tennessee isn’t really targeting any other defensive ends in the 2018 class (Otito Ogbonnia and Emmit Gooden are both defensive tackles), so it doesn’t appear that Lole is an “insurance” offer. Though at 6-foot-2, 270 pounds, Lole isn’t a small defensive end either and could transition to a tackle in college.

    A look at Lole’s film shows an explosive athlete whose versatility should pay off well in college. Lole played both offensive line and defensive line in high school, but his ceiling is much higher on defense. He’s a tough, tenacious defensive lineman who was very disruptive in high school. He’ll need to work on his technique and broaden his repertoire of moves, but the potential is there.

    As a senior, Lole amassed some strong numbers. In 10 games, Lole totaled 80 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 28 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries according to Max Preps.

    The Vols desperately need a jolt of energy in their pass rushing game this upcoming season. Tennessee finished second-to-last in the SEC in sacks this past season, only totaling 22 on the season. That’s the lowest total for the Vols in a single season since they had only 18 as a team in 2013.

    Tennessee has a few pass rushers in their 2018 class already. But you can never have too many disruptors on defense, and Lole has proven in high school he possesses that skill set.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.