Tennessee’s coaching staff, specifically Jeremy Pruitt, has stated before they don’t care what recruiting rankings say about prospects; they trust their own eyes and evaluations of prospects. Pruitt and his staff send out offers to prospects regardless of their ranking, and that proved true once again with one of UT’s latest offers this week.
Simeon Barrow Jr. is a defensive end who plays for Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Georgia. On Tuesday, he tweeted out that he picked up an offer from the Vols, giving him his second SEC offer so far.
— Simeon Barrow Jr (@BarrowSimeon) May 21, 2019
Right now, Barrow is rated as only the No. 1,278 overall prospect in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but his offer list speaks to what coaches think of him. He picked up an offer from Virginia Tech the same day he got one from Tennessee, and he holds offers from Missouri, West Virginia, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Appalachian State, Georgia State, and Georgia Southern among other teams.
The 6-foot-2, 252-pound defensive end visited Tennessee back on February 2nd, and he plays in the same region as one of Tennessee’s 2018 signees. Kurott Garland played for Heritage High School in Conyers, Georgia, which is the same region that Grovetown plays in. Garland was also a lowly-rated prospect in the 2018 cycle who put up some eye-catching numbers just like Barrow has done. Garland was rated as the No. 1,166 overall recruit in the 2018 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, but he racked up 251 tackles, 65 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks, 31 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in 23 games as a junior and senior.
Much like Garland, Barrow has been a machine when it comes to piling up tackles for loss and sacks.
As a junior last season, Barrow totaled 80 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, 17 QB hurries, a forced fumble, an interception, and two passes defended according to MaxPreps. Barrow was named the CSRA Defensive Player of the Year as a junior as well.
He’s not just a stat sheet player, though; Barrow’s film is the real deal, too.
Barrow is a violent tackler, and I feel bad for the quarterbacks he takes down on his highlight film. Barrow has a great blend of speed and awareness that gives him the edge over most offensive linemen trying to block him. It’s evident that he’s just faster and stronger than a lot of other high school players in his region, but it goes beyond just that; Barrow has a great understanding of the game and has a never-ending motor. He’s explosive off the edge but shows patience when he needs to. He’s not as raw as you might imagine, but there’s definitely room to improve.
With Barrow having visited Tennessee’s campus already and with the attention he’s grabbed recently, he could be a name to keep an eye on moving forward. Barrow has picked up two dozen scholarship offers in 2019 alone, and seven of those have come from Power Five programs.
Tennessee currently has one defensive end committed to them in their 2020 class, and that’s from four-star JUCO defensive end Jordan Davis.