Vols Among Top Schools for Elite Four-Star Defensive End

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    (Photo via @darrion_henry on Twitter)

    One of the top defensive ends in the 2020 recruiting class has visited Tennessee multiple times already, and now he’s included the Vols as one of his finalists moving forward in his recruitment.

    Darrion Henry is a four-star strong-side defensive end who plays for Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. On Monday, he tweeted out his list of six top teams in his recruitment, and he included Tennessee along with Georgia, Ohio State, LSU, Kentucky, and Cincinnati.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Henry is rated as the No. 45 overall prospect, No. 3 strong-side defensive end, and No. 2 player in the state of Ohio. He holds over two dozen scholarship offers, but those six schools will be receiving the bulk of his attention now.

    The 6-foot-6, 260-pound lineman has visited Tennessee three times in the last 10 months. He made a trip to campus in June of 2018, returned for a Junior Day event on January 26th of this year, and he made the trip to Knoxville again in March with two other highly-rated Ohio prospects in five-star offensive lineman and Ohio State commit Paris Johnson Jr. and four-star outside linebacker Jaheim Thomas. All three prospects play in Cincinnati, and Thomas and Henry are teammates at Princeton.

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    Tennessee has a huge need for defensive linemen and pass rushers in their 2020 recruiting class, and Henry is one of their top targets there. It won’t be easy to pull him out of Ohio, but the Vols have made themselves a big factor so far. Now, they just have to keep putting on the steam.

    Henry is a force along the defensive line for Princeton. He can play a variety of roles, lining up inside, outside, or standing up. Wherever he’s positioned, he can make plays. Henry is a strong player who uses his upper body leverage to bully his way past offensive linemen. He isn’t just a one-trick pony, though; Henry already knows a few moves and doesn’t just rely on his superior strength to get by blockers. He even plays a little offense for Princeton, further showing off his utility and versatility.

    As a junior for Princeton, Henry racked up 61 tackles, 8.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries in 10 recorded games according to the Greater Miami Conference website.

    The Vols don’t have any high school defensive ends currently committed to them in their 2020 class, but they do hold a commitment from the No. 1 overall JUCO player and top-rated JUCO defensive end in Jordan Davis. Tennessee also has a commitment from four-star defensive tackle Dominic Bailey in their 2020 class.

    Landing Henry would be huge for the Vols, but they’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get him. Expect Tennessee to try and get him and their other top Ohio targets to come back to campus a few more times before the early signing period in December.