Tennessee’s coaches have turned a lot of their attention to the 2020 class in recruiting. With less than a week to go till National Signing Day, there’s only so much left to do for the 2019 cycle. The 2020 cycle is about to be in full force, and UT’s coaches have been meeting with and sending out offers to a lot of 2020 recruits. That continued on Wednesday.
Derek Wingo is a four-star outside linebacker out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He plays for the well-known St. Thomas Aquinas program, and he added an offer from Tennessee on Wednesday.
Blessed to receive an offer from Tennessee ?? pic.twitter.com/uRRT7meq8z
— W1NG0 (@DerekWingo) January 30, 2019
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Wingo is the No. 197 overall player in the 2020 class and is the No. 10 outside linebacker in the class. He committed to Penn State back on Christmas of 2018, and he also holds offers from Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Auburn, Miami, Florida, and Florida State among others.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker is a highly sought-after linebacker in the 2020 cycle, and programs from all over the country are vying for his services. Penn State may have his commitment for now, but time will tell if that sticks.
Though he’s listed as an outside linebacker by recruiting services, Wingo plays both as a hand-in-the-dirt defensive end and an outside linebacker for St. Thomas Aquinas. And he was extremely effective in both roles.
Wingo has great explosion off the edge, and he uses his quality speed to get past blockers and reach the quarterback and running back in the backfield. He can also move sideline-to-sideline effectively, and he’s pretty good in the flat as well. Wingo can also defend passes pretty well, showing he’s not just a one-trick defender. He’s still raw from a technique standpoint, but his athleticism and solid football IQ make him easy to teach. He has a lot of good tools present.
As a junior, Wingo totaled 34 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, a fumble recovery, a blocked kick, and a fumble return touchdown in 11 games according to MaxPreps. As a sophomore, he played some quarterback for St. Thomas Aquinas, too.
The Vols will need to add several pass rushers in their 2020 class, and just because Wingo is committed elsewhere doesn’t mean Tennessee’s coaches will hold off on pursuing him. Wingo is one of the better outside linebackers in the next recruiting cycle, and he’ll be a priority for the Vols if they feel they have a good chance of landing him.