Early Enrollee: Dominic Bailey, DT
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 293 pounds
School: St. Frances Academy (Maryland)
Home Town: Baltimore, MD
247Sports Composite: No. 212 overall, No. 20 DT
247Sports: No. 301 overall, No. 24 DT
Rivals: 5.8 rating, No. 26 DT
Notable Offers: Georgia, Florida, Penn State
What we like:
Talk about blending quickness with power, that’s Dominic Bailey to a “T.” Bailey has good strength, especially considering his age (he’s not even 18 yet), and he’s very, very athletic. He looks like a perfect fit for Tennessee’s 3-4 defensive scheme. Not only does he have a lot of the necessary physical tools, but Bailey is also smart and can already effectively shed blocks. Bailey attacks the line of scrimmage like it insulted his mother, and he plays physically in the interior. His athleticism makes him stand out, as he played both football and basketball for St. Frances and played on the defensive line and on offense as well.
Places to improve:
Though he’s already strong, bulking up and adding to his natural strength should be priority No. 1 for Bailey this spring. He doesn’t have a lot of bad weight, but he does have some he can trim off. He has a really good foundation of skills and football knowledge, and building onto that this spring and digesting UT’s defensive playbook will be key for his development.
Tennessee returns all their significant contributors on the defensive line, and Emmit Gooden is returning from injury as well. The path to early playing time as a freshman for Bailey seems blocked — barring any injuries — but Bailey has a very high ceiling. I wouldn’t discount him getting onto the field as a freshman, especially if some of Tennessee’s veterans fail to take another step forward. But 2020 might be a redshirt year for Bailey, and he could take advantage of the four-game redshirt rule. I could also see him carving out a role on special teams if Tennessee has a need for him there.