Impact Report: 2020 DB Doneiko Slaughter

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    (Photo via Joe Parker/North Fulton Herald)

    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what we feel he needs to improve in his game, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Doneiko Slaughter, DB
    Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 175 pounds
    School: Roswell (Georgia)
    Home Town: Roswell, GA

    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 669 overall, No. 49 S
    247Sports: No. 1,458 overall, No. 106 S
    Rivals: 5.8 rating No. 27 S

    Notable Offers: Arizona State, Miami, Mississippi State

    What we like:

    If you have the last name of “Slaughter” and play on defense in football, you better be able to bring the heat. And that’s just what Doneiko Slaughter does.

    Tennessee’s newest commit is plenty capable of dishing out some big hits, and he rocks ball carries with violent tackles multiple times on his highlight film. He doesn’t just lay down a shoulder and go for a video game-like tackle, though; Slaughter is vicious on his wrap ups, too. But he’s much more than just a hard hitter. Slaughter has great awareness in passing situations, and he seems to possess a really solid football IQ. He makes good reads in coverage and has really good lateral movement. I’m surprised his reported 40-time is only a 4.65 because he looks faster than that on film. He doesn’t look like an absolute burner, but he plays quicker than that if that time is actually accurate.

    The term “heat-seeking missile” comes to mind when watching his film, as does “ball hawk.”

    Don’t let Slaughter’s rating on 247Sports fool you. They haven’t assessed him since June of this year, whereas Rivals has recently reevaluated him this month and bumped him to a four-star. I imagine you’ll see a similar bump whenever 247 actually gets around to looking at him.

    Places to improve: 

    I’d like to see Slaughter put on some more weight. He doesn’t need to add a great deal, but his body is a little too light right now to be counted on for a heavy workload. I don’t think he’ll necessarily need to play right away a ton, but still. He could also benefit from the coaching of Jeremy Pruitt and Derrick Ansley in respect to some of his footwork and tackling. I like how often he wraps up and is still able to dish out punishing blows, but he won’t be able to lay the lumber in college as consistently as he does in high school. Not when he goes up against SEC athletes.


    Slaughter is an absolute steal, in my opinion. Arizona State had a really good defensive back prospect committed to them, but the Vols stole him away. I don’t know that UT will need him to contribute a ton in his first year, but even if his impact is minimal on defense as a freshman, I think Slaughter has the ability to be an instant impact player on special teams on coverage units and kick blocking units. He fits well into what Tennessee wants to do on defense, and he looks disruptive in every area.

    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.