Late Tuesday night, two four-star linebackers from Whitehaven High School in Memphis committed to the Vols in the 2020 class. But the night wouldn’t have been complete without another teammate also joining them.
Three-star defender Tamarion McDonald, who plays with four-star inside linebackers Bryson Eason and Martavius French at Whitehaven, announced his commitment to the Vols just an hour after Eason announced his pledge to UT and just minutes after French also committed to Tennessee. McDonald tweeted out his decommitment from Mississippi State almost simultaneously to Eaon’s commitment announcement on Twitter.
this is where I want to be!! I am 100% committed to THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE?? #GoVols pic.twitter.com/ZnT17g6NXW
— TM3? (@tjdadonn) October 23, 2019
Per the 247Sports Composite rankings, McDonald is the No. 567 overall prospect in the 2020 class. He’s also rated as the No. 34 outside linebacker and No. 19 player in the state of Tennessee. He had been committed to Mississippi State for months before decommitting on Tuesday night. McDonald also holds offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Kentucky, and Arkansas in the SEC.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound defender only recently added an offer from Tennessee, getting a scholarship offer from UT’s coaching staff back on September 27th after head coach Jeremy Pruitt traveled over to watch Whitehaven take on Cordova on the Friday night of Tennessee’s bye week.
“They called me after the game (and gave an offer),” McDonald told me in a recent interview. “Friday, earlier in the day, they came by the school and was telling me they were gonna watch me at the game and how they want all three of us.”
Tennessee’s coaches followed through on their wish, and now all three of the Whitehaven trio are committed to the Vols.
McDonald and and the two highly-rated linebackers all took official visits to see the Vols back on the weekend of October 4th when Tennessee hosted Georgia. At that time, both McDonald and French were committed elsewhere.
Now, both players, along with Eason, are committed to play at Tennessee.
On film, McDonald’s explosiveness off the snap immediately stands out. He has pretty good speed and shows off exceptional awareness. He’s a very smart player who often times makes the correct defensive read when playing the run. He can move laterally fairly well, and he’s a strong tackler. He’s a bit of a tweener right now, and it remains to be seen if he’ll play at linebacker or safety in college. He shows promise in pass coverage, but there isn’t a lot of that on his film to really get a good gauge of it.
McDonald plays both offense and defense for Whitehaven, though he projects as a defender in college. In five recorded games of his senior season, McDonald has 20 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack, and a fumble recovery on defense according to MaxPreps. On offense, McDonald has caught five passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
With McDonald’s commitment, the Vols have now completed the Whitehaven trifecta. McDonald gives UT eight in-state pledges in their 2020 class, and the Vols now have 17 overall prospects committed to them in the 2020 cycle.