Vols’ Highest-Rated Commit Shuts Down Recruitment

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    (Photo via The Tennessean)

    Sometimes trying to hold on to highly-rated prospects in a recruiting class is almost as difficult as trying to land uncommited recruits. But it doesn’t look like Tennessee will have to worry about their top-rated commit going anywhere this cycle.

    Four-star defensive back and Vol commit Keshawn Lawrence of Ensworth High School in Nashville tweeted out on Wednesday evening that he is shutting down his recruitment, saying he is “staying home and sticking with my gut,” adding that his recruitment is “10000% shut down from now on.” He will be signing with the Vols on the first day of the early signing period on December 18th.

    The 6-foot-1, 197-pound defensive back committed to Tennessee for their 2020 class back on June 24th, just days after taking an official visit to Miami and with the Hurricanes feeling good about their chances. Since then, Lawrence has picked up even more interest from schools thanks to a strong summer and a good senior year.

    Lawrence took an official visit to Oklahoma in mid-October and was still getting interest not only from the Sooners, but from USC and other schools as well. But the standout in-state prospect has also made it over to Knoxville a multitude of times during the season, visiting Knoxville at least seven times since the beginning of the 2019 season.

    Now, it looks like the Vols won’t have to worry about him going anywhere else.

    Lawrence is the No. 66 overall prospect, No. 3 safety, and No. 2 recruit in the state of Tennessee in the 247Sports Composite rankings. The regular 247Sports rankings list him as the No. 58 overall prospect and the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee in the 2020 cycle.

    As it stands right now, Lawrence is Tennessee’s highest-rated commitment in their 2020 class, and he’s one of nine players rated as four-stars or higher on 247Sports who are committed to the Vols in the current cycle.

    Tennessee is recruiting Lawrence as a likely cornerback, though he’s capable of playing safety as well. He played in all three phases for Ensworth, and he excelled as a do-it-all athlete.

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    In 10 recorded games on MaxPreps in his senior season, Lawrence totaled 37 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, five passes defended, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery on defense while also totaling 13 receptions for 219 yards and two touchdowns on offense and returning seven punts for 434 yards.

    Lawrence participated in Nike’s The Opening Finals over the summer and has been invited to both the Polynesian Bowl and All-American Bowl. Lawrence was timed running a 4.59-second 40-yard dash and a 4.06-second shuttle at a regional camp for The Opening, and he showed off a 41-inch vertical leap at the Finals.

    Right now, Lawrence is nursing an injury, but he’s not expected to miss a significant amount of time. He suffered a hairline fracture on the outside of his foot in Ensworth’s loss to McCallie School in the semifinals of the Division II-AAA playoffs two weeks ago, and he will have a minor procedure to address it.

    Tennessee’s coaches can rest assured now that their highest-rated commit in the 2020 class is securely a Vol.



    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.