One of the top offensive tackles in the 2020 class has announced his two finalists and his announcement date, and the Vols are one of the two teams vying for his services.
Four-star offensive tackle Tate Ratledge announced on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon that he will be making his college commitment publicly known on May 13th, and he also announced his two finalists he’ll be deciding between on Monday. Tennessee and Georgia are the two schools Ratledge will be picking between.
May 13th…. pic.twitter.com/jHVP7wzHlG
— Tate Ratledge 🐺 (@tateratledge22) May 8, 2019
According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Ratledge is the No. 39 overall prospect and No. 5 offensive tackle in the 2020 class. He plays for Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and he’s been a top priority for the Vols for a while.
The 6-foot-7, 306-pound tackle has developed a strong relationship with Tennessee’s ace recruiter, Brian Niedermeyer, and UT’s offensive line coach Will Friend has also been helping out in his recruitment. But it’s not just Tennessee’s coaches who are recruiting Ratledge to UT; the Vols’ 2020 quarterback commit, Harrison Bailey, is also trying to get him to come to Knoxville.
Ratledge has visited UT three different times in 2019. He came to see the Vols for a Junior Day event on January 26th, came back on March 30th, and he attended the Orange & White Game on April 13th. He’s visited Georgia twice this year and saw them once during the season last year.
Ratledge’s relationship with the Bulldogs’ offensive line coach, Sam Pittman, is the biggest draw to Georgia for him. The Bulldogs are closer to home, and they’ve been in on him for a very long time. But Ratledge’s family are strong UT fans, especially his father, Dean.
Ratledge doesn’t really have any highlights from his senior season aside from short clips from each game, but he’s one of the top tackles in the country because of his frame, athleticism, and strength. He can likely make an impact the moment he steps on campus.
Right now, the Vols don’t have any offensive linemen committed to them in the 2020 class, but it figures to be a huge area of emphasis for UT just like last cycle. Tennessee signed five projected offensive linemen in their 2019 class, headlined by two five-star talents in Darnell Wright and Wanya Morris. The Vols also signed four-star guard Jackson Lampley, three-star guard Melvin McBride, and three-star tackle Chris Akporoghene.