Vols are Finalists for California Cornerback

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    (Photo via Robert Casillas/Daily Breeze)

    Jeremy Pruitt has a strong track record of developing defensive backs in college, as does Tennessee’s new defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley. Right now, the Vols have a strong young duo of Alontae Taylor and Bryce Thompson at cornerback, but Tennessee will need to fill out the depth in that unit in the next couple recruiting cycles. One of the Vols’ targets at cornerback in the 2020 class has named his finalists and his announcement date, and Tennessee made the cut.

    Macen Williams is a three-star cornerback out of Harbor City, California who plays for Narbonne High School. On Wednesday, he tweeted out a list of three finalists in his recruitment, and that group included the Vols, Oregon, and Arizona State. Williams will announce his college choice on June 1st.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Williams is the No. 606 overall prospect and No. 41 cornerback in the 2020 class. Along with the three schools in his list of finalists, he also holds offers from South Carolina, Louisville, Nevada, and others.

    Tennessee offered Williams back on January 31st, and he visited campus on March 3rd of this year as well.

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    Though he measures in at around 5-foot-9 or 5-foot-10, Williams doesn’t play like a small corner. In fact, he plays very physically and matches up well all over the field with a number of different receivers.

    Williams has solid speed (around a 4.5-second 40-yard dash), but that’s not all he possesses. The athletic corner also has really good instincts and ball skills, and he can leap higher than you’d expect him to. He has a knack for smacking away passes, and he’s a physical cornerback despite not having elite measureables. He’s a versatile defensive back who can play both outside corner and nickel. Williams is very capable of attacking the run, too, as he sheds blocks from wide receivers pretty effectively in a number of highlights.

    As a junior for Narbonne, Williams totaled 44 tackles, two tackles for loss, half a sack, two interceptions, and four passes defended according to MaxPreps.

    The Vols don’t have any defensive backs committed to them in their 2020 class as of yet, but they’re pursuing several in the cycle. Not only is Tennessee looking for help at cornerback from rising seniors in the 2020 class, but they’ve also offered a handful of JUCO cornerbacks in the cycle as well. Expect Tennessee to take a cornerback or two in this class if they have the room.



    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.