RTI recruiting contributor Charley Collier also contributed to this article
He was originally going to announce his commitment next week. But he could only make it two days after announcing his final five on Twitter before he committed to the Vols.
Melvin McBride, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound offensive lineman from Memphis, tweeted out on Wednesday that he is pledging his commitment to the Vols. Originally, McBride posted on his Twitter account on Monday night that he was announcing his decision next week. But he had a change of plans, and he committed to Tennessee on Wednesday.
— Melvin McBride📌 (@mjmballin) August 22, 2018
The huge lineman from Memphis picked the Vols over offers from Arkansas, Louisville, Florida, South Carolina, Purdue, and others.
McBride plays for Whitehaven High School, one of the best teams in the state of Tennessee. He recently took a big jump in the recruiting rankings on 247Sports. At the beginning of this month, the 247Sports Composite rankings had him listed as just the 750th overall player in the 2019 class. But now the big man from Memphis is the No. 430 overall player, 15th-ranked guard, and No. 17 player in the state of Tennessee according to those same rankings.
Tennessee’s coaching staff extended an offer to McBride back in mid-July after he put on an impressive performance at a camp UT’s coaches hosted on campus.
McBride is a very raw prospect, as he has only been playing football for a year. But that means his playing style is less permanent, leaving a lot of room for him to be molded by his college coaching staff. Many head coaches find that intriguing. And he already has great size as well.
The huge Memphis offensive lineman is a very strong player, and he knows how to use his body for power. He does a good job getting his feet in the ground and his hands inside to drive opponents. His footwork in pass blocking is also impressive. He blocks through the whistle and absolutely finishes the block every time. He starts to run into trouble when it comes to the details of his technique, however. He doesn’t fire off the ball well, but instead often times catches the defender then begins to drive him. He also has a tendency to poke his elbows out when he blocks, which can cause him to turn with guys rather than drive them straight back. This can also lead to more holding calls against him. His pad level is entirely too high, and sometimes he gets too top heavy instead of keeping an athletic base under himself, which can cause him to struggle with control blocking in space. However, for a guy with just one year of football experience, he is an excellent offensive lineman, and his shortcomings are things that can be fixed with time and coaching.
With McBride’s commitment, the Vols now have 20 known pledges in the 2019 class, and four of those are from offensive linemen. The Vols have commitments from five-star tackle Wanya Morris, four-star guard Jackson Lampley, three-star tackle Chris Akporoghene, and now three-star guard Melvin McBride.