Vols Add Speedy Three-Star Corner to 2019 Class

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    (Photo via Josh Bell/MyrtleBeachOnline.com)

    On National Signing Day, Tennessee added one of the fastest prospects in the 2019 recruiting cycle.

    Three-star cornerback Kenney Solomon from Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina announced on Wednesday that he is signing with the Vols. Solomon chose Tennessee over offers from Louisville, Colorado, Rutgers, UCF, and others.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Solomon is the No. 1,651 overall player and No. 157 cornerback in the 2019 class. He actually rose nearly 1,000 spots in the recruiting rankings since Tennessee first offered him back in early January, and the Vols were his first Power Five offer at the time. After their offer, he picked up offers from Louisville, Rutgers, and Colorado.

    Solomon took an unofficial visit to Tennessee on January 11th, and while on his visit he picked up an offer from the Vols. Jeremy Pruitt extended that offer to him in his office, and Solomon was blown away by his trip over to Knoxville.

    “It was very nice. The stadium is humongous,” Solomon told me in an interview after his visit. “I met up with some of the players, and that was very cool as well. Campus was nice. They drove us around and showed us where everything was. We got to look in the dorm rooms and where the players hang out at.

    “That unofficial (visit) felt like an official. They treated me like it was an official.”

    You can listen to our full interview with Kenney Solomon and get all of our in-depth recruiting analysis by becoming a member of RTI Premium today!

    The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete played a number of positions for Socastee, lining up on offense, defense, and special teams. But according to Solomon, Tennessee’s coaches see him primarily as a cornerback and a punt returner at UT.

    “(UT’s coaches) like me at corner, and they like me at punt returner,” Solomon explained. “They know I’m a fast guy, and I’m a good guy. My grades are great. They think I can do great things at Tennessee, coming from Coach Pruitt and (Assistant Director of Player Personnel) Danny Stiff.”

    Solomon’s speed is no joke, either. He’s been timed running both a 4.42-second and a 4.36-second 40-yard dash, and he ran the 100-meter in 10.6 seconds and the 200-meter in 21.08 seconds for Socastee’s track team. He qualified to go to the state championship in track, and he was the only junior in the 200 and 100 last year.

    Though he’s rated as a low three-star by recruiting services and didn’t really start getting attention from schools until the last couple months of the 2019 cycle, Solomon has a great deal of confidence in himself.

    “I feel like I’m a five-star,” Solomon explained. “That’s just what I feel like. I feel like I can go anywhere and be part of a team.”

    Looking at his film, Solomon is a real all-around athlete. He is a physical and explosive player with elite speed. Solomon can play up at the line of scrimmage and match up with any receiver because of his unique combination of strength, size, and speed. He is an insticulal player with quick reactions and a fundamental tackler. He adds an extra element to his game as a return man. In his senior year alone, he returned a handful of punts and kicks for touchdowns. He has the capability to play on either side of the ball, and he flashes on film as a receiver as well. He’ll add some much-needed speed to UT’s defense, and he has plenty of tools already apparent that make him more than just a track athlete playing football.

    In just seven recorded games this past season, Solomon had 16 tackles and two interceptions on defense a year after intercepting six passes as a junior. He also accumulated 359 rushing yards and 324 receiving yards according to MyHorryNews.com.

    Solomon actually goes to the same high school that Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow went to. Coming out of high school, Renfrow wasn’t even rated by 247Sports and was offered a walk-on role for the Tigers. He earned a scholarship in the fall of 2015, and he became one of the better “feel good” stories of college football.

    In his four years with Clemson, Renfrow won two national titles and caught 186 passes for 2,133 yards and 15 touchdowns. There’s even a good chance the former walk-on will make it into the NFL.

    Renfrow went overlooked out of high school, and Solomon feels he’s been treated the same way. But he believes he can be just as good as Renfrow proved to be if he’s given the chance.

    “It’s the same deal with him,” Solomon said of Renfrow. “I feel like he should’ve been a five-star. He’s obviously very good at football.

    “I guess a lot of schools overlook us.”

    With Solomon’s signature, the Vols have now signed five projected defensive backs in their 2019 class. Solomon joins four-star safety Jaylen McCollough, four-star cornerback Tyus Fields, three-star cornerback Warren Burrell, and three-star athlete Aaron Beasley — who projects to play safety at Tennessee. The Vols also have a commitment from four-star safety Anthony Harris, though he hasn’t signed yet.



    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.