With 21 players already signed back in December and a couple transfers brought in since then, Tennessee doesn’t have a lot of drama heading into this year’s National Signing Day. But the Vols do still have a few targets worth watching on Wednesday, and a couple will for sure be making announcements during the day.
Tennessee signed 21 prospects during the early signing period in December, and two of the Vols’ previous commits didn’t sign with UT. Since then, both of those commits — three-star offensive lineman Kyree Miller and three-star athlete Darion Williamson — have decommitted from Tennessee. UT’s staff have also added three transfers to the roster since then, adding Georgia offensive lineman Cade Mays, USC grad transfer wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., and Nebraska wide receiver Miles Jones. Mays is fighting to be eligible for the 2020 season, and it’s believed either he or Velus Jones Jr. can be backcounted to the Vols’ 2021 class so UT can have an extra spot for the 2020 cycle. Miles Jones is expected to be a walk-on for 2020 and likely won’t be eligible this upcoming season anyway.
With that in mind, here’s a look at Tennessee’s top remaining 2020 targets and when they’re supposed to announce their commitments on Wednesday.
Weight: 220 lbs
Hometown: Florence, AL
High School: Florence
247Sports: 358th overall, 19th ATH
247Sports Composite: 389th overall, 18th ATH
Rivals: 5.7 rating, 20th ATH
It’s essentially down to Tennessee and Florida for the talented athlete out of Alabama. Beckwith took official visits to both schools in January, and he was back in Knoxville for an unofficial visit this previous weekend, the final visiting weekend before National Signing Day. With Florida tight ends coach Larry Scott reportedly leaving the Gators to take a head coaching position at Howard at the FCS level, that’s a big boost to UT’s chances of landing Beckwith.
The big-bodied athlete played quarterback at Florence but projects as a tight end or wide receiver in college. He’ll likely get snaps as a wildcat quarterback wherever he ends up, too. Beckwith is also big on basketball, and he holds basketball offers from both Florida and Tennessee. It remains to be seen how much (if at all) he’d see the basketball court in college, though.
Announcement Time: Approximately 9:15 AM Eastern (will be live streamed by VR2 here)
Weight: 190 lbs
Hometown: Venice, FL
High School: Venice
247Sports: 116th overall, 20th WR
247Sports Composite: 116th overall, 22nd WR
Rivals: 6.0 rating, 56th overall, 10th WR
Though he’s been committed to Florida State since May of 2019, it doesn’t look like Malachi Wideman will end up signing with the Seminoles. When he elected not to sign during the early signing period in December, he left the door open for other schools. Tennessee has taken advantage, and they’ve put themselves in a good spot with the dynamic four-star wide receiver.
Wideman took an official visit to Tennessee’s campus the weekend of January 17th. He then officially visited Oregon, and his last official visit was to Ole Miss this past weekend. Right now, it’s believed Wideman is down to the Vols and Rebels as his final two schools, but Oregon shouldn’t be counted out, and Florida State could still manage to keep him as well.
The big, electrifying wideout also plays basketball in high school — just like Dee Beckwith — and he’s a four-star as a basketball prospect as well. It’ll remain to be seen if he plays any basketball in college, but he has a very high ceiling in football.
Announcement Time: Lunch Time (likely between noon and 1:00 PM Eastern)
Weight: 195 lbs
Hometown: Houston, TX
High School: North Shore
247Sports: 33rd overall, 3rd RB
247Sports Composite: 16th overall, 2nd RB
Rivals: 6.1 rating, 13th overall, 1st RB
Undoubtedly the most dramatic and hard-to-follow recruitment of the 2020 cycle, five-star running back Zach Evans isn’t expected to make any definite announcement on National Signing Day on Wednesday. Evans can commit to a team if he wants, but since he signed a National Letter of Intent with Georgia and was released from it, he can’t sign another LOI with a team on Wednesday. It likely won’t be until April, May, or June that Evans can officially join a program’s roster.
Right now, Tennessee has positioned themselves well with Evans, but who knows what will happen between now and when he can officially enroll. Ole Miss is certainly in the mix for him, and it’s believed Florida or USC has tried to get in it with him lately as well.
If Evans makes an announcement on National Signing Day, it won’t be binding, and whichever team that gets his commitment won’t feel secure until he’s officially on campus.
Announcement Time: N/A