Elite In-State Defensive End Lists Vols Among Top Teams

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    (Photo via Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean)

    One of the top defensive players in the state of Tennessee has narrowed down his focus in his recruitment, and the Vols have made the cut.

    Tyler Baron is a four-star defensive end who played for Ensworth over in Nashville last season. He transferred to Knoxville a few months ago and will play for Knoxville Catholic for his senior season. The play-making defensive end holds over 30 offers from FBS programs, and he trimmed down his list to his top 11 schools, and Tennessee was included along with Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Baron is the No. 129 overall prospect, No. 8 strong-side defensive end, and No. 7 player in the state of Tennessee. Baron recently saw a jump in his rankings after a strong performance at the Murfreesboro, TN regional camp for Nike’s The Opening. Baron was already a four-star, but he moved even closer to the top-100 overall prospects after the camp.

    The 6-foot-5, 252-pound defensive end was named MVP of the event and tested exceptionally well. He was timed running a 4.79-second 40-yard dash, a 4.69-second shuttle, and had a 30-inch vertical leap.

    “Baron was a standout from the beginning until the end of Sunday’s action in Tennessee,” 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons stated. “He was also among the first in line for every drill and was very engaged throughout the action. Baron is an up-trending prospect because of the versatility to play edge, inside, and play with stoutness at the point of attack as well as speed.”

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    Baron has visited the Vols recently, making a trip to campus on May 18th. He also visited UT for the Orange & White Game on April 13th, and he took unofficial visits to Tennessee in March and January, too. Baron has taken visits to Ohio State and Virginia Tech in 2019 as well.

    Watching Baron’s film, his explosiveness off the snap immediately stands out. He’s a very aggressive tackler who already has a few moves to get by blockers. Baron is quick and strong, and that’s a deadly combo for opposing offenses. He already has experience working in a 3-4 defensive system, so that should benefit the Vols big time if he chooses Tennessee. Baron doesn’t really have the type of bend and wiggle you hear analysts rave about, but he’s a consistent performer who has a variety of ways to get into the backfield.

    In his junior season for Ensworth, Baron totaled 44 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks.

    This upcoming season will be Baron’s first with Knoxville Catholic, and he’ll be playing with a few other Tennessee targets. Four-star center Cooper Mays, three-star receiver and Marshall commit Chancellor Bright, and Kaden Martin, 2022 dual-threat quarterback and son of Tee Martin, all attend Knoxville Catholic as well. Four-star Clemson commit Bryn Tucker also plays for the Fighting Irish.



    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.