Vols Offer Four-Star Defensive Tackle from France

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    (Photo via West France)

    Tennessee’s men’s basketball team has a standout player from France on their roster in Yves Pons. He caught the attention of Rick Barnes for his play overseas, and now he’s a solid role player for the Vols in his second season at UT. Now, Tennessee’s football coaches have extended an offer to a football player from France and hope to add some international flavor to the football program.

    This week, Tennessee sent out a scholarship offer to Andy-Jeffrey M’ba out of France. He’s a defensive tackle in the 2020 cycle.

    Right now, M’ba isn’t rated on 247Sports, but he’s rated as a four-star on Rivals and is considered one of the best (if not the best) international prospect in the 2020 class by multiple international recruiting outlets. He’s listed at 1.98 meters tall and weighs 144 kilograms. In U.S. terms, that’s around 6-foot-5, 317 pounds.

    M’ba already has offers from schools like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, and Virginia Tech. He was originally supposed to be a part of the 2019 class but had to reclassify.

    Originally, M’ba was supposed to come over from France and play for St. Frances Academy in Connecticut for the 2018 season. But something happened with his admissions process to St. Frances, and his enrollment ended up being delayed by three months. M’ba ended up enrolling at St. Thomas More in Connecticut instead, and that’s where he’ll play this upcoming season.

    The large defensive tackle prospect is a little raw, which makes sense considering he only started playing football a few years ago. But he already has a lot of potential and has learned quite a bit in a short period of time.

    M’ba has really good strength and speed, and he knows how to use both. He can plow through blockers and is a good tackler when he gets his hands on the ball carrier. It’s obvious he has quite a bit still to learn from a technique perspective, but there’s a lot of potential there for him as well. He has a very large frame and moves exceptionally well with his weight.

    Tennessee added two JUCO defensive tackles in Savion Williams and Darel Middleton in their 2019 class, and they added three-star high school senior Elijah Simmons out of Nashville in their 2019 class as well. But the defensive line figures to be another point of emphasis in UT’s 2020 class, and they’ve already offered 26 different defensive tackles in that cycle.

    M’ba is raw, but he’s very intriguing. A lot of Big Ten schools have already gotten a leg up on his recruitment, so it will be interesting to see how much of a factor the Vols can be in his recruitment moving forward. He’ll also likely get a lot of attention over the spring and summer at various camps.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.