Vols Among Top Teams for Four-Star Defensive Tackle

    by -

    (Photo via Andrew Ivins/247Sports)

    The Vols will likely take several defensive linemen in their 2020 class to help bolster depth moving forward and to find future starters for the 2021 season and beyond. One of their more recent offers on the recruiting trail has released his list of finalists, and Tennessee is one of them.

    Four-star defensive tackle Westley Neal plays for Gulliver Prep down in Miami, Florida. On Sunday afternoon, he trimmed down his list of nearly 20 offers down to just eight finalists, and the Vols made the cut. Tennessee is joined by Kentucky, West Virginia, Pitt, Virginia, Indiana, Rutgers, and South Florida.

    Per the 247Sports Composite rankings, Neal is the No. 304 overall prospect and No. 30 defensive tackle in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Tennessee offered Neal back on May 8th, and the Vols are his most recent offer. He’s only about 5-foot-11 in height, but he weighs around 311 pounds and moves exceptionally well for his size.

    The athletic defender also participates in track for Gulliver Prep, and he participates in the shot put and discuss. He’s also been timed running the 100-meter dash in 13.74 seconds, which is pretty astounding for someone weighing over 300 pounds.

    Neal is an explosive athlete off the defensive line, and he has much better speed and burst off the point of attack than most defensive tackles. He doesn’t look like he’s over 300 pounds, and he certainly doesn’t move like it. Neal plays aggressively and has very good strength. He’s able to use his lack of elite height to get good leverage on offensive linemen, and he’s a relentless pursuer. Neal’s technique will need work in college. He does a good job with his hands and getting low, but he’ll have to improve in a number of areas to really tap into his potential.

    As a junior for Gulliver Prep, Neal totaled 70 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble according to MaxPreps.

    Tennessee has a commitment from two defensive linemen in their 2020 class right now. Four-star defensive tackle Dominic Bailey and four-star JUCO defensive end Jordan Davis are the Vols’ two defensive line commits so far in the 2020 cycle. Tennessee will likely take a couple more defensive linemen in this class.

    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.