The good news continued for Tennessee’s basketball program on Sunday after the Vols throttled Kentucky on Saturday on the court. Off the court, the Vols picked up a huge commitment from one of the top players in the 2020 recruiting class.
Tennessee hosted a number of highly-rated recruits in both football and basketball over the weekend. On the basketball side, the Vols got to welcome in a large collection of four and five-star prospects to watch No. 7 Tennessee take on No. 4 Kentucky in front of a sold out Thompson-Boling Arena.
The recruits were treated to a show, as the Vols dismantled Kentucky by a score of 71-52. One of the recruits who was in town on Saturday was in Knoxville for the second time in a month’s span, and he ended up committing to the Vols on Sunday.
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Corey Walker Jr. is a 6-foot-6 small forward who plays for Bishop Snyder High School in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s rated as a five-star forward on 247Sports and is the No. 23 overall player and No. 6 small forward in the 2020 recruiting class. The composite rankings have him rated a little lower, but he’s still a top-50 overall prospect on those rankings, coming in as the No. 31 overall recruit in the 2020 cycle.
According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, Walker gave his verbal pledge to the Vols on Sunday afternoon.
Walker holds offers from a number of schools, including Memphis, Arizona, Georgetown, Xavier, Baylor, Florida, Auburn, and Georgia among others. Tennessee is actually one of the more recent schools to offer Walker, extending an offer to him back on January 13th. But UT made up a lot of ground on Walker compared to other schools that offered him earlier, and his visit to Knoxville on Saturday marked his second trip to Tennessee in a month.
Now, he’s the Vols’ first commit of the 2020 class.
The 6-foot-6 forward is a versatile player who stands out both on offense and defense. He can score in a variety of ways and is very gifted both as a ball-handler and as an attacker to the basket. He has good quickness and awareness, and he gives exceptional defensive effort. He’s difficult to defend and has very long arms, making it easy for him to rip down rebounds and get angles for shots that others can’t.
Tennessee has already signed one five-star under Rick Barnes. The Vols pulled in five-star guard Josiah James in the 2019 class during the fall signing period, and he’ll be on UT’s roster for the 2019-20 season. James is joined by three-star forward and Bearden standout Drew Pember and three-star forward Davonte Gaines from New York in Tennessee’s 2019 signing class.
Walker is the Vols’ first pledge of the 2020 cycle, and it’s a class that could add even more highly-rated prospects to it once it’s all said and done.
The Vols are in great positions with five-star guard Jaden Springer, four-star guard and top in-state prospect Keon Johnson, and five-star forward Walker Kessler in the 2020 class. Kessler, however, could end up reclassifying to the 2019 class.