Vols Among Top Teams for Five-Star Linebacker

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    (Photo via Justin Schoenemann Photography)

    Noah Sewell has his pick of any major university when it comes to where he wants to play football. But moving forward, he’s only going to be focusing on a small handful of teams, and Tennessee is one of those programs.

    Sewell, a five-star linebacker who plays for Orem High School in Orem, Utah, tweeted out a list of his top eight schools on Sunday afternoon. The Vols made the cut along with Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida, and Oregon.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Sewell is the No. 23 overall prospect, No. 2 inside linebacker, and No. 1 player in the state of Utah. He recently saw a big bump in his rankings, moving from the No. 64 overall prospect to the No. 18 overall recruit in the 2020 class in the regular 247Sports rankings. He earned his fifth star in the process.

    The 6-foot-2, 266-pound linebacker is huge, but he has incredible athleticism for his size. He’s a little oversized to play linebacker, but he’s not quite large enough for the defensive line right now. But he has the body to either trim down and remain at linebacker in college or bulk up even more and play with his hand in the dirt.

    At Nike’s The Opening Finals earlier this month, Sewell ran a 4.75-second 40-yard dash, but his shuttle time was even more impressive. He was timed running a 4.13-second shuttle, showing off elite explosiveness and wiggle with his hips and feet. He also has a nearly 36-inch vertical leap.

    Sewell has already picked up projections as first-round draft pick in the NFL in the next 3-4 years. And he’s picked up his interest with the Vols.

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    The five-star linebacker took his first look at Tennessee on an unofficial visit on June 13th, and that visit along with his relationship with UT’s coaches have been enough to put the Vols in the running with some of the top teams in college football.

    Sewell has a brother, Penei, who plays offensive tackle for the Oregon Ducks. His brother Gabriel will be a senior linebacker with Nevada this upcoming season, and his brother Nephi transferred from Nevada to Utah and will play safety for the Utes.

    Though he didn’t bulk up to the 266 pounds he is now till after his junior season, Sewell still moves similarly to how he does in his junior year highlight film. He’s violent and explosive in the middle of the defense, and he moves excellently in space. He looks like a torpedo off the snap, and he has great lateral movement when covering the flat or running after running backs on the edge.

    As a junior last season, Sewell totaled 103 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, two interceptions, and three passes defended according to MaxPreps. Sewell also played some on offense, totaling 694 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on just 52 carries and hauling in 20 receptions for 229 yards and three scores.

    Sewell is one of the most versatile and dynamic athletes in the 2020 class, and the Vols are going up against the best of the best for his services. Tennessee will likely have to get him on campus again this season, and they’ll need to show some bonafide improvement in the 2019 season.

    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.