Two highly-ranked four-star defensive prospects released lists of their top teams in their recruitments, and Tennessee is among those contenders for both recruits.
Elite four-star weak-side defensive end Jeremiah Williams and four-star outside linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson both tweeted out a trimmed-down list of their top considerations for college, and the Vols were among those teams for both. For Williams, Tennessee made the cut along with Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Florida, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. The Vols were included in Dumas-Johnson’s top 10, joining Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, Auburn, Ole Miss, Michigan, Penn State, Arizona State, and Maryland.
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The 6-foot-3, 224-pound Williams has been a frequent visitor to Tennessee’s campus, making the trip from Birmingham, Alabama up to Knoxville at least three times, and his most recent trip came at the beginning of March of this year.
“I got to meet the new coach, Coach (Shelton) Felton. He’s real cool and real genuine,” Williams told RTI after his recent visit. “He’s gonna keep it real with you. I talked to Coach Ansley and Coach Niedermeyer, too. We talked it up and watched some film.”
Williams, who is rated as the No. 67 overall prospect and No. 5 weak-side defensive end in the 2021 class per 247Sports, said that Tennessee’s coaches view him as a “four-for-four” linebacker in their 3-4 defensive system, meaning he could play all four linebacker positions at UT.
“They said I’m a four-for-four linebacker, which means I can play the two outside linebacker spots and rush and drop into coverage or I could play behind the ball at the inside linebacker spot and rush the passer there too,” Williams explained.
As a junior for Ramsay High School, Williams totaled 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception in eight recorded games on MaxPreps. As a sophomore, he was named to the First Team of the Class 5A All-State team in 2018 after totaling 72 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, and three forced fumbles.
Dumars-Johnson is one of several prospects from the state of Maryland who is currently high on the Vols.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound outside linebacker attends St. Frances Academy, the same high school current Vol defensive lineman and four-star 2020 signee Dominic Bailey went to. Dumars-Johnson’s teammate, four-star outside linebacker Aaron Willis, recently included the Vols in his list of top teams, as did four-star St. Frances defensive tackle KaTron Evans. Fellow Maryland prospect and elite wide receiver Dont’e Thornton also had the Vols among his favorites. One of Tennessee’s top quarterback targets, four-star Christian Veilleux, also plays in Maryland and included the Vols in his list of finalists over the weekend.
As for Dumars-Johnson, he’s rated as the No. 213 overall prospect and No. 18 outside linebacker in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings. Tennessee gave him an offer back on December 5th, becoming the first SEC school to extend an offer to him. He was one of seven St. Frances players to pick up offers from Tennessee on that day.
Tennessee currently has nine players committed to them in their 2021 class. Only one prospect — three-star Darrell Jackson — projects as a potential pass rusher/outside linebacker in UT’s class currently.