It’s that time of year where a lot of 2021 prospects are beginning to narrow down their choices and start looking at their top schools more seriously as spring arrives and camp season quickly approaches. The Vols currently have seven players committed to them in their 2021 class, and they’re in the thick of things for several highly-rated targets in the cycle as well.
The No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2021 class included Tennessee among his top teams recently, but he’s not the only elite recruit to have the Vols as one of his favorites.
A trio of four-star prospects all included the Vols among their top teams over the last few days, and all three come at positions of need for UT in the 2021 cycle.
Moliki Matavao, one of the top tight ends in the 2021 class, was one of those four-stars who included the Vols among his top teams. He released a list of his top 10 teams, and Tennessee made the cut along with LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, UCLA, Washington, and Miami.
— Moliki Matavao (@MatavaoMoliki) March 6, 2020
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end is rated as the No. 145 overall prospect, No. 4 tight end, and No. 1 player in the state of Nevada per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He plays for Liberty High School in Henderson, NV.
As a junior last season, Matavao caught 46 passes for 718 yards and seven touchdowns according to MaxPreps.
Elite four-star running back Jaylin White was another prospect who included the Vols among his top teams recently.
In an interview with Josh Newberg of 247Sports, White said Tennessee was part of his top five teams along with Florida State, South Carolina, Alabama, and Auburn. White added that he’s looking to make an announcement after his senior season, and a school with a strong engineering program is important to him, too.
“I’ll make a decision after my football season,” White said. “I’m looking for a place that has a good engineering program.”
According to the US News and World Report rankings, UT’s engineering program ranks 37th among all public universities in the United States and is tied for 58th overall in the country. Auburn’s engineering program ranks 69th, South Carolina’s 95th, Florida State’s 111th, and Alabama’s 124th per those same ratings.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back from Dothan, Alabama is the No. 126 overall prospect and No. 8 running back in the 2021 cycle per 247Sports. He’s the No. 284 overall recruit and No. 19 running back in the composite. White attended a Junior Day event at UT back in mid-January and took an unofficial visit to Knoxville to see the Vols play Vanderbilt.
In his junior season, White ran for 900 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The other four-star prospect to include Tennessee as one of his top teams is Trenilyas Tatum, an outside linebacker who plays for Mount Zion in Jonesboro, Georgia.
Tatum took to Twitter to announce his list of top eight schools, and the Vols made the cut along with Oklahoma, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Louisville, Georgia Tech, and Virginia.
— Trenilyas Tatum (@_TrenilyasT) March 10, 2020
Per the 247Sports Composite rankings, Tatum is the No. 311 overall prospect and the No. 26 outside linebacker in the 2021 cycle. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound defender picked up an offer from Tennessee back in mid-January and visited UT for a Junior Day event on January 18th.
In his junior season, Tatum racked up 91 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks.
The Vols currently have seven prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, and that class is headlined by four-star wide receiver Jordan Mosley.