Vols Among Favorites for No. 1 In-State Player

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    (Photo via Rick Murray/The Wilson Post)

    Tennessee still has a few spots to fill in their 2019 recruiting class, but a lot of attention will be paid to 2020 recruits now that the large majority of UT’s 2019 class has been signed.

    One of the top overall players in the 2020 cycle and the highest-rated player in the state of Tennessee just released his list of top schools, and the Vols made the cut.

    Reggie Grimes is a five-star athlete who plays for Mount Juliet High School in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. He’s primarily being recruited as a defensive end, but he plays on offense and excels there too. On Christmas, the talented two-way athlete put out his list of top schools right now, and Tennessee made the list.

    Grimes, whose father played for Alabama in college, visited Tennessee three times in 2018. He took two different visits to Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech as well. He holds offers from Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, LSU, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, and others right now.

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    The two-way athlete is rated as the No. 23 overall player and No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He’s listed as a weak-side defensive end in their position rankings, and he’s the No. 2 weak-side defensive end in the 2020 cycle.

    Though he’s a very effective weapon on offense, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound athlete projects by most services to play defense in college. And when you watch his film, it’s easy to see why.

    Grimes’ athleticism really showcases itself on defense. He explodes off the point of attack and has a variety of ways to get past blockers. When he tackles, he wraps up well and isn’t easy to break free from. He uses his exceptional speed to come off the edge with quickness, and he has no problem chasing down quarterbacks and running backs. He harasses quarterbacks and is a disruptive force.

    It’s hard to find defensive linemen with better measureables in high school, and Grimes just finished up his junior year, too. He’s been timed running around a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, and he can reportedly run a sub-12 second 100-meter dash. He can also bench press 225 pounds and squad 330 pounds.

    Right now, Tennessee is in a good spot with Grimes, but Alabama is considered the slight early favorite for the talented in-state prospect. He’s a legacy player for the Tide, and he plays within Tennessee’s state borders. He’ll be one of Alabama’s top targets in the 2020 cycle, and the Vols will also have him near the top of their board.

    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.