Vols to Get Official Visit from Four-Star Defensive End

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    (Photo via 247Sports)

    June is an extremely important month in recruiting for Tennessee. UT’s coaches are hosting camps every weekend, and the Vols are welcoming in multitudes of visitors each and every week. One of Tennessee’s defensive line targets will be making a trip to Knoxville for the second time this year later this month.

    Blayne Toll is a four-star, two-way athlete who plays for Hazen High School in Hazen, Arkansas. Toll visited the Vols on an unofficial visit back on January 26th, and according to Otis Kirk of Hogville.net, Toll will be making an official visit to Knoxville on the week of June 17th. Toll is officially visiting Arkansas this week from June 12-14 and will travel to Tennessee the following week.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Toll is the No. 313 overall prospect and No. 1 player in the state of Arkansas in the 2020 class. Toll released a list of his top five schools over a month ago, and Tennessee made the cut along with Oklahoma, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Memphis. Not only does Toll hold offers from the five schools at the top of his list, but he also has offers from LSU, Auburn, TCU, and Nebraska among many others.

    Toll picked up an offer from the Vols on January 18th and then visited campus shortly after for a Junior Day event on January 26th. He’s visited Ole Miss, Arkansas, TCU, and Oklahoma since then as well. Tennessee offensive coordinator Jim Chaney also visited Toll back in May.

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    Versatility is key in today’s world of college football, and Toll certainly fits that description.

    The 6-foot-5, 244-pound athlete plays quarterback, tight end, and defensive end for Hazen, and he’s excelled at all three in his time in high school. Though his junior stats aren’t available for this past season, he had a breakout year as a sophomore, totaling 42 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and three forced fumbles as a defensive end and also had 715 passing yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 465 rushing yards and six scores.

    Not only that, but Toll plays baseball for Hazen as well, and he’s no slouch there either.

    In football, though, Toll plays with exceptional physicality on both sides of the ball. He’s not afraid to lower his shoulder on offense and truck players, but he can also dodge and evade tacklers better than you might imagine. On defense, he can split double teams and uses his natural strength to get by blockers. He’s still a little raw from a technique perspective, but there’s a lot of potential there. His toughness and raw athleticism help him out in many areas.

    Toll has put up some impressive numbers in testing. At a regional camp for Nike’s The Opening back in March, Toll ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds and had a 31-inch vertical leap. He also had one of the top powerball tosses of the over 250 participants tested.

    Right now, Toll doesn’t have any other official visits lined up, but there’s a good chance he’ll take his other three official visits to the other three teams in his top five.

    Our Take:

    The Vols, like most other teams, are looking at Toll as a defensive end rather than tight end or anything on offense. Tennessee has a big need at defensive end in this cycle, and Toll would be a solid addition if they can land him. But pulling the top-rated player in the state of Arkansas away from the Razorbacks won’t be easy. Arkansas has signed the No. 1 player within their own state borders in three of the last four recruiting cycles according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

    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.