Outside linebackers are very important players in Jeremy Pruitt’s defense. Players like Ryan Anderson, Tim Williams, and Anfernee Jennings are just a handful of linebackers who found success in Pruitt’s defense at Alabama.
Now that he is at Tennessee, Pruitt will be looking for similar players in future recruiting classes to play for the Vols’ defense. And he may have found one in an outside linebacker the Vols offered Wednesday.
Laiatu Latu, a 2019 prospect from Carmichael, California, tweeted he is “excited and proud” to pick up a scholarship offer from Tennessee.
— TuTu 🌴 (@LaiatuLatu48) April 18, 2018
Latu is the 17th uncommitted outside linebacker Tennessee’s coaches have offered in the 2019 recruiting cycle, and he is one of the best. According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, he is a four-star and a top-200 overall player in the country. He is the 10th-best outside linebacker in the nation and the 23rd-best player in California.
As of now, he holds offers from a handful of schools including Florida and Alabama. Stanford is currently seen as the favorite to land him. He currently plays at Jesuit High School and is committed to play in the Polynesian Bowl this summer.
Latu has a huge frame at 6-foot-5 and 242 pounds. He is also a very talented rugby player and carries that physicality with him on the football field.
A look at his film shows why he is ranked so highly. Latu is the ideal outside linebacker prospect. He is an every down linebacker, and he is incredibly versatile. He is physical and has a keen football IQ. He is a very sure tackler, and he out hustles just about everybody on the field at all times. He is valuable both as a pass rusher and in pass coverage. He doesn’t have any major flaws, but he doesn’t have any major strengths either. He is a very balanced player that works very hard and plays smart.
As a junior, Latu totaled 65 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and two blocked punts according to MaxPreps.
Latu is exactly the type of player that Pruitt and his staff could mold into a star. It is a longshot that they will be able to get him out of California, but confidence is not lacking on a staff that excels at recruiting. They will need to try and get him on campus for an official visit, and if they can get him in Knoxville anything can happen.