Another 4-Star LB Has Vols Among Finalists

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    (Photo via 247Sports)

    Tennessee has targeted the state of Maryland big time in recruiting in the class of 2021. The Vols are top contenders for several highly-rated recruits in the Old Line State, and yet another one of their targets in Maryland now has Tennessee among his top teams.

    Greg Penn III, a four-star linebacker who plays for DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, released his six finalists on Twitter this week, and the Vols were included along with Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Maryland.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Penn is the No. 194 overall prospect and No. 8 inside linebacker in the 2021 class. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker has nearly 30 scholarship offers, but he’ll be focusing on those six teams moving forward.

    Tennessee extended an offer to Penn back on December 9, 2019. Penn’s last visit before recruiting visits were shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak was an unofficial trip to see South Carolina. That visit and his relationship with head coach Will Muschamp helped solidify the Gamecocks as one of his top teams.

    As for the Vols, they’ve been on Penn’s mind ever since he got the offer from UT’s coaches.

    “It’s been all love since Tennessee first offered me,” Penn told Brian Dohn of 247Sports. “Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt is great with linebackers and gets them to the next level. Coach Oz (tight ends coach Joe Osovet) is my guy, and we have a great relationship. I can’t wait to visit.”

    It’s worth noting that Elijah Brooks, the former head coach at DaMatha Catholic, is now the running backs coach at Maryland, and the Terrapins have been making a strong push for in-state recruits to stay home in the 2021 cycle.

    Penn moves more like a safety than a linebacker with how quick he is on his feet and how explosive he can be. He has great closing speed, but he doesn’t just play with his ears pinned back; Penn can also be patient and read a play effectively. He has the ideal speed to move sideline-to-sideline. Penn is a good blitzer, but he’s even better at stopping the run.

    For Tennessee, Penn becomes just the latest talented prospect from Maryland to include the Vols among his list of top teams or finalists.

    Penn joins fellow four-star Maryland-area players Aaron Willis, KaTron Evans, Dont’e Thornton, Jamon Dumas-Johnson, and Christian Veilleux to include Tennessee in their narrowed-down list of teams. Willis, a four-star linebacker, Evans, a four-star defensive tackle, and Dumas-Johnson, a four-star linebacker, all go to St. Frances Academy, the same school current Vol defensive tackle Dominic Bailey attended. Top-50 wide receiver Dont’e Thornton plays for Mount St. Joseph, and four-star quarterback Christian Veilleux plays for The Bullis School.

    The Vols currently have nine prospects committed to them in the 2021 cycle. None of their current commits are from Maryland, but UT is targeting that area heavily.

    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.