Vol Commit Rises to Five-Star in Rankings Update

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    (Photo via @MarkGriffinVOL on Twitter)

    Tennessee now officially has two five-star players committed to them in men’s basketball. At least according to one recruiting service.

    On Wednesday, Rivals.com updated their recruiting rankings in the 2020 cycle for men’s basketball, and with the update came a big move for one of Tennessee’s commits. Keon Johnson, the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 class, rose 16 spots in Rivals’ rankings up to No. 17 overall, and he gained a fifth star in their ratings in the process.

    Johnson committed to the Vols a week ago, choosing Tennessee over Ohio State, Virginia, and many others. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard from Bell Buckle, TN gave the Vols their second pledge in the 2020 class, joining small forward Corey Walker in UT’s 2020 class.

    Walker, too, is a five-star on rivals.

    Though he dropped three spots to No. 24 overall in the 2020 cycle, Walker is still a five-star on Rivals, giving the Vols two five-star commits this cycle. It also gives Tennessee two top-25 recruits committed to them in the 2020 class.

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    As of right now, Tennessee currently has the No. 2 class in the 2020 cycle on Rivals. Only Duke has a higher rated overall recruiting haul in the 2020 class according to Rivals’ rankings.

    Dating back to the earliest team rankings Rivals has available (2002), Tennessee has signed multiple five-stars in the same class only once, and that came in 2006 when the Vols brought in Ramar Smith and Duke Crews in the same class. Four-star Wayne Chism was also part of that class.

    Rivals’ analysts have proven to be big fans of Johnson, calling him an “ideal wing” for Rick Barnes and claiming he’ll make a big immediate impact for the Vols when he joins the roster in 2020.

    The Vols’ two commits weren’t the only ones who saw some movement in Rivals’ update, though.

    Tennessee power forward target PJ Hall remained stationary in Rivals’ rankings update, staying put at No. 67 overall. Guard Jaden Springer dropped one spot to No. 12 overall, but he remained a five-star in Rivals’ rankings. Those two are the Vols’ top two remaining targets in the 2020 cycle as of now.

    Memphis guard Matthew Murrell — who transferred to IMG Academy — skyrocketed in the latest update, rising to No. 46 overall and moving up 64 total spots. Murrell is on Tennessee’s radar and is another target in the 2020 class for the Vols.

    Other Vol targets included in the Rivals update include Samson Ruzhentsev of Hamilton Heights in Chattanooga. The 6-foot-6 small forward dropped nine spots to No. 73 and remained a four-star. Center Dylan Cardwell out of Georgia stayed put at No. 115 overall and kept his four-star status.