Five-Star Linebacker Has Vols Among Favorites

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    (Photo via @HenryTootoo1 on Twitter)

    Tennessee’s coaching staff has done a great job of positioning themselves well with some of the top talent in the 2019 class. The Vols already have a commitment from five-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris, and they have good relationships with several other five-star prospects and other highly-rated recruits. And on Monday, they received more good news from one of the top linebackers in the 2019 cycle.

    Henry To’oto’o is one of the highest-rated linebackers in the 2019 recruiting class. He plays for the prestigious De La Salle High School in Concord, California, and he just finished up visiting Tennessee’s campus. And on Monday, not long after finishing his visit to Knoxville, he tweeted out his top eight schools. And the Vols made the cut.

    Tennessee joins a host of powerhouse schools on To’oto’o’s list, including Alabama, Oregon, Florida, USC, and Washington. To’oto’o’s visit to Knoxville this weekend was his first trip to see Tennessee, and he came away impressed enough to consider the Vols one of his favorites moving froward.

    The elite linebacker is rated as the No. 33 overall player and No. 2 outside linebacker in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’s a five-star who measures in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds.

    The Vols have a unique connection with To’oto’o that no other school can boast. Kevin Simon, a former Vol linebacker who is now on staff in an off-field role with Tennessee, played at De La Salle before coming to Knoxville for college. To’oto’o has been in communication with Simon, and the two have formed a good relationship.

    And that relationship could be an edge for Tennessee.

    To’oto’o’s highlight film from his junior season shows off his athleticism and elite ability to pursue the ball carrier. He has great agility and is stronger than he looks. He possesses some high level vision and awareness and isn’t easy to stop when he’s intent on reaching either the quarterback or a running back. He’s not bad in the flat on passing downs either.

    The 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker will need to add weight once in college, and that might prevent him from making as big of an immediate impact as other players at his ranking. But the skill is absolutely there, and you can see it on his film. He led De La Salle in tackles last year and looks to be a leader at the famous school this year.

    Tennessee currently has only one linebacker committed in their 2019 class, and that’s four-star junior college inside linebacker Laika Henry. The Vols need pass rushers in a big way, and To’oto’o would be a perfect fit for Tennessee’s 3-4 defensive scheme.