Vols Make the Cut for Speedy Outside Linebacker

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    (Photo via @JamiePettway42 on Twitter)

    Tennessee added an athletic pass rusher in their 2019 class over the weekend, and now they’re in a great spot with yet another athletic linebacker.

    Jamie Pettway is a three-star linebacker out of Albany, Georgia. Back in April on an unofficial visit, he said he “felt like I was home” when he visited Tennessee. Now he’s included the Vols in his top six schools moving forward.

    The Vols join SEC foes South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss in Pettway’s top six. South Carolina has been viewed as Tennessee’s biggest competition to try and land Pettway in the 2019 cycle. He unofficially visited the Gamecocks earlier this month, and he followed up that visit with an unofficial trip to Vanderbilt.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Pettway is the No. 694 overall player and No. 51 outside linebacker in the 2019 class. Along with his offers from his top six schools, he also holds offers from Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Wake Forest, and others.

    Pettway is an athletic player with a big frame. He runs a 4.62 second 40-yard dash, and he stands at a solid 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. He has plenty of room to add more weight, and a year or two in a college strength and conditioning program would benefit him.

    Looking at Pettway’s film, he doesn’t appear to lack any strength on the field. He can be seen defeating blockers with ease on a consistent basis on his highlight film. He loves to hit and gets to the right spot on the field consistently. His eyes are good as he does a good job processing the offense and making the right read. He is an every-down linebacker at the next level, something coaches find very valuable. He shows that he can rush the passer as well as defend the run, and he also presents value in pass coverage. He doesn’t excel in any one area, but he is above average in all three.

    As a junior, Pettway totaled 97 tackles, three fumble recoveries, and an interception for Westover High School. He also plays basketball for his high school.

    Right now, Tennessee has one commitment from a linebacker and another from a prospect who projects to play linebacker for the Vols. Four-star JUCO inside linebacker Laika Henry committed to Tennessee back in May, and the Vols just picked up a commitment from three-star defensive end/outside linebacker Jalil Clemons this past Sunday.

    Linebacker is one of the most important positions in Tennessee’s new 3-4 defense under Jeremy Pruitt. Expect the Vols to continue to keep Pettway on their radar as his recruitment moves forward. The Vols will also keep looking to add other linebackers in this class as well.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.