Four-Star Safety Names Vols as Leader

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    (Photo via @Nehkimeredith14 on Twitter)

    The Vols hosted a number of talented prospects in the 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes this past weekend and had those recruits attend a scrimmage inside Neyland Stadium as part of the Vols’ spring practices. Tennessee had several of their top targets in the next two recruiting classes on campus this weekend, and they made progress with a good number of them. And one of those prospects left blown away by what he experienced.

    Nehki Meredith is a four-star safety out of Virginia Beach, Virginia in the 2020 class. He hasn’t been rated yet by some services, but the early 247Sports rankings for the 2020 class have him as a top-150 overall player and a top-5 safety in the cycle. And he was very impressed with his visit over the weekend.

    Meredith told SEC Country in an interview this weekend that the Vols are his leaders coming off his visit to Tennessee. “I’ve never had a visit like that before I actually got recruited,” Meredith said. “I could definitely see myself playing there.”

    He also added on Twitter that his visit to Tennessee this weekend was “hands down” the best visit he’s had during his recruitment thus far.

    Right now, Meredith holds early offers from Virginia Tech and Maryland, and Lane Kiffin has offered him from Florida Atlantic as well. Chattanooga has also extended an offer to the talented 2020 safety. The Vols gave him an offer over the weekend while he visited campus, giving him his fifth overall offer so far.

    For Meredith, this weekend marked his third unofficial visit to a school in his recruitment. He visited Florida State last October and paid a visit to Virginia Tech in March.

    But so far, none of his visits have compared to what he experienced at Tennessee.

    “Coach Tino (Sunseri), (Charles) Kelly, and Montario (Hardesty) showed lots of love,” Meredith stated. “They treated me like family, and that was really my first time meeting them, so it just felt good. I feel like they really get to know their players and that you could really talk to them and have regular conversations about anything.”

    Meredith would go on to say that Jeremy Pruitt told him that if he were on campus as a player right now, he would already be playing with the twos on Tennessee’s roster this spring. And Pruitt told him he reminded him of a former SEC star and current NFL player.

    “I had a meeting with Coach Pruitt,” Meredith said in the interview. “He was telling me…that I remind him of (NFL star Tyrann Mathieu).”

    A look at Meredith’s film does show a very polished player for someone who only just finished up his sophomore season of high school. Meredith already has great vision and reads quarterbacks well pre-snap and during plays. He makes adjustments well, and he breaks up passes regularly. He doesn’t have the type of size you might like in a college safety, but he has a couple years to potentially grow some more. Plus, he’s not necessarily undersized, and his athleticism and instincts more than make up for any size he gives up to other players.

    As a sophomore, Meredith totaled 56 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions, three pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a touchdown off an interception return.

    The Vols will need to add plenty of safeties in both their 2019 and 2020 classes. Tennessee is losing at least two safeties after the 2018 season thanks to the graduation of both Micah Abernathy and Todd Kelly Jr. after this season. There’s also a good chance that junior Nigel Warrior could declare early for the NFL Draft as well.

    Getting Meredith would be huge for the Vols’ 2020 class, and they’re in a great spot right now coming off his first visit to campus.

    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.