Vols Have “Prioritized” Four-Star, In-State Guard

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    (Photo via Brooks Hansen/247Sports)

    One of the top players in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 class is feeling the love from the Vols, but they aren’t the only ones turning up the heat on him.

    Matthew Murrell is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard who plays for Whitehaven over in Memphis. He’s been on UT’s radar for quite some time, and according to him, they’re one of four schools that are really prioritizing him right now.

    Murrell did an interview with Evan Daniels of 247Sports after the second day of the Under Armour Association over the weekend, and he was asked about which teams are standing out to him most and are recruiting him hardest. The four-star guard stated that Tennessee, Ole Miss, NC State, and Memphis are the four schools giving him the most attention.

    When pressed for details about each school, Murrell mentioned Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes as one of the biggest reasons why the Vols stand out to him.

    “I like how Rick Barnes has developed players over the years so they can make a run,” Murrell told Daniels.

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    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Murrell is rated as the No. 86 overall player and No. 3 player in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 class. He’s developed a reputation as an elite defender, but he’s been working more and more on his offensive game and is starting to flourish there as well.

    When Whitehaven played East for the district title, Murrell was matched up with 7-foot-1 James Wiseman a lot. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Wiseman is the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 class who signed with Memphis recently. On paper, it looked like a mismatch that Wiseman should’ve been able to exploit easily.

    In reality, though, Murrell and Whitehaven got the better of Wiseman and East.

    Whitehaven ended up winning 58-55 and winning the district title. That was thanks in large part to Murrell’s efforts.

    Tennessee is doing what they can to try and snatch Murrell away from other schools, but pulling him out of Memphis will be extremely difficult. Tigers’ head coach Penny Hardaway has made Murrell a huge priority since taking over at Memphis, and he’s made the Tigers a much bigger interest for Murrell than before he arrived.

    Not only that, but Murrell’s own dad is a big Memphis fan.

    Murrell himself told Daniels that “it’s a thought” about staying home in Memphis and playing for the home town Tigers. Murrell watched most if not all of Memphis’ games this season and came away impressed with Hardaway’s first year as head coach.

    Right now, Tennessee has one commit in their 2020 class, and it’s from borderline five-star small forward Corey Walker. Murrell isn’t the only player in the state of Tennessee the Vols are pushing hard for, as they’re right in the thick of things with No. 1 overall player in the state Keon Johnson as well.



    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.