Tennessee needs cornerbacks in a big way in their 2019 class, but up to this point they hadn’t picked up a commitment from a single corner in this cycle. But that changed on Friday.
Warren Burrell, one of Tennessee’s top targets at cornerback, announced at noon on Friday that he is committing to the Vols for the 2019 class. He’s the Vols’ first cornerback commit in the 2019 class.
— Warren Burrell (@_WB04) July 27, 2018
Burrell, who plays for North Gwinnett High School in Suwanee, Georgia, chose the Vols over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, USC, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, and many others. Burrell had previously announced a final three of UT, Florida, and N.C. State.
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Burrell is the No. 481 overall player and No. 44 cornerback in the 2019 class. But don’t let his somewhat lower rankings fool you; Burrell can absolutely play.
As a player, Burrell presents a lot of upside. Coaches recognized him as a 1st-team all-state player for his performance in his junior season at North Gwinnett High School. At 6-foot, 170 pounds, he doesn’t have bad size either. With a 4.53 40 time, he has the speed to cover faster receivers. He is a player that might end up a better safety than corner in college, but he has solid skills as a defensive back regardless of position.
Burrell has great hips and is a very fluid athlete, and he has elite ball skills as well. A corner that can read the ball in the air and go make a play on it is incredibly valuable to a team, and he can do just that. Time and time again on his film he can be seen tracking the ball and reaching it at its highest point. He has great anticipation and very good instincts. Tackling is not a concern for him either. It isn’t necessarily a strength of his, but it certainly isn’t a weakness. One concern is his physicality at the line of scrimmage. He is rarely seen playing up on receivers, and with his somewhat average strength, it’s fair to wonder whether he can be successful in press coverage. He’s good in man coverage, though.
As a junior last season, Burrell totaled 26 tackles, a tackle for loss, five interceptions, 11 passes defended, two fumble recoveries, a safety, and a defensive touchdown off an interception according to MaxPreps. It’s also worth noting that he played against Tennessee commit and four-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton in the Class 7A quarterfinals during last year’s playoffs. Keyton’s team was led by four-star quarterback and No. 2 pro-style QB in the 2020 class Harrison Bailey as well. Burrell intercepted a pass from Bailey late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for North Gwinnett High School.
Burrell gives the Vols their first commitment from a true cornerback in the 2019 class. Tennessee now has 16 total public commitments in their 2019 class.
Burrell’s commitment comes the day before the Vols’ big recruiting weekend. Be on the lookout for potentially more recruiting news coming out of this weekend as well.