Vols are “Coming the Hardest” After Five-Star Cornerback

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    (Photo via Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

    Tennessee has a lot of their 2019 recruiting class locked up after the early signing period earlier this month. But they still have a few spots left to fill come National Signing Day in February, and they’re swinging for the fences with the unsigned talent across the country.

    On Saturday, all the prospects participating in the Under Armour All-American Game spoke with the media, and one of those recruits was five-star cornerback and Florida State commit Akeem Dent. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound corner from West Palm Beach, Florida has been committed to the Seminoles since July of last year, but that hasn’t stopped teams from continuing to try and change his mind.

    And chief among those schools is Tennessee, according to Dent.

    Dent knows UT’s safeties coach Charles Kelly from his time as Florida State’s defensive coordinator. Prior to being hired on at Tennessee, Kelly was the Seminoles’ defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2014-17, and he was pivotal in Dent’s recruitment at Florida State.

    Now Kelly is a key for the Vols as they try and flip Dent from the Seminoles.

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    Dent himself believes that the world (and himself) could be in for a surprise come National Signing Day on February 6th.

    “I’m looking, might surprise a lot of people, but I don’t know,” Dent said per quotes gathered by 247Sports. “(I don’t know) How January might unfold because I don’t know what to expect myself. I might surprise myself.”

    Right now, Dent doesn’t have any official visits scheduled for January, but he’s in the process of making those trips with other schools. He officially visited Florida State on December 14th and said he’s not sure he wants to take a visit in January to a school he’s already visited recently. He also took unofficial visits to Miami and Florida State in October, and he unofficially visited Miami in September as well.

    Though he’s still listening to other programs and plans on taking visits to other schools next month, Dent claimed that his commitment to Florida State is still “strong” despite him entertaining other teams.

    “FSU is like fam,” Dent said. “I went up there, just getting them around my mom and to make sure she likes the atmosphere. I’ve been up there plenty of times. It was really to see if she liked it.”

    It looks like it will be a longshot for the Vols to pull Dent away from Florida State, but head coach Jeremy Pruitt, Charles Kelly, and the rest of UT’s staff won’t give up easily. They’ve shown that before with recruits, and it will be the case with Den’ts recruitment too.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Dent is the No. 33 overall player and No. 3 cornerback in the 2019 class.