Tennessee’s coaching staff likes to add hybrid players who can play multiple positions to their roster. The Vols currently have a handful of those players on the current roster, but Jeremy Pruitt and his staff have been going after more of those types of players on the recruiting trail. And a versatile defensive lineman out of North Carolina in the 2019 class likes what he’s seen from the Vols so far.
Terrell Dawkins, a pass rusher out of Concord, North Carolina, tweeted out his top five schools on Monday afternoon. Tennessee made the cut along with Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, and N.C. State.
5‼ 5‼ 5‼ pic.twitter.com/GHAzfNSfbX
— Terrell Dawkins (@T_dawk89) July 9, 2018
Dawkins picked up an offer from the Vols back in February of this year, and he unofficially visited Tennessee in early April. He unofficially visited Ohio State a week after visiting the Vols, and the Buckeyes offered him then. He attended a camp at Ohio State in mid-June as well.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Dawkins is the No. 869 overall player and No. 59 strong-side defensive end in the 2019 class. The regular 247Sports rankings have him rated higher, listing him as the 498th overall prospect and No. 34 strong-side defensive end.
Along with the offers from his top five schools, Dawkins also has scholarship offers from West Virginia, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Duke, and others.
At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Dawkins has the perfect frame to either add on weight and stay on the defensive line in college or simply tone his muscles and move to an outside linebacker role in a 3-4 defense like Tennessee’s. Dawkins has played out of position for a lot of his career at Cox Mill High School because they’ve had him playing inside at defensive tackle. He does have the frame to add on the weight necessary to play inside on the line, but his skills better translate to a pass rusher role at the next level.
Dawkins has great burst and can maintain that speed to chase down ball carriers. He’s very quick but doesn’t sacrifice speed for strength. He’s a tough competitor who is more than capable of getting by interior linemen with his various skill sets. But because he’s played out of position a lot, it remains to be seen how he does against really good offensive tackles. But he does have the ability to be both a solid pass rusher and run stopper.
As a junior last season, Dawkins totaled 59 tackles, nine sacks, and an interception. He’s reportedly been timed running the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and can reportedly squat 425 pounds to go along with a 36-inch vertical leap.
Dawkins is a very athletic defender with a higher ceiling than you might expect from his rankings. Both Tennessee and Ohio State clearly have interest in him, and his skills as a pass rusher are undeniable. The Vols will likely keep an eye on him as this cycle moves forward.