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Vols are Finalists for High Priority In-State Target

(Photo via Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean)

Tennessee has already landed commitments from several of their top in-state targets. On Friday, another of their highly-coveted recruiting targets inside their own state borders listed the Vols as a finalist in his recruitment.

Four-star defensive end Tyler Baron, who previously played for Ensworth High School in Nashville but has since transferred to Knoxville Catholic, announced his list of finalists on Friday afternoon, and the Vols were included along with Ohio State, Oregon, Kentucky, and Arizona.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Baron is the No. 101 overall prospect in the 2020 class and ranks as the No. 3 strong-side defensive end and No. 5 player in the state of Tennessee.

Baron 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 and is now right outside top-100 status.

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’s most recent offer is from one of the teams in his list of finalists, and that’s Kentucky. The Wildcats offered Baron on June 26th.

Tennessee has hosted Baron on multiple visits in 2019. He’s visited at least six times this year, including taking his last trip before the dead period on the last weekend of July.

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. 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. His upcoming senior season will be his first with Knoxville Catholic.

Tennessee has a number of their top in-state targets already committed to them, and they’re in a great spot with Baron. Four-star safety Keshawn Lawrence, four-star center Cooper Mays, three-star running back Tee Hodge, three-star athlete Darion Williamson, and long snapper Will Albright are UT’s in-state commits. Baron will be teammates with Mays this upcoming season and was teammates with Lawrence last season. 

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