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Another 5-Star Commits to Tennessee Football

(Photo via @Terrence2Lewis on Twitter)

Tennessee’s red-hot recruiting momentum continued on Thursday when they picked up another commitment from one of the top prospects in the country.

Five-star outside linebacker Terrence Lewis, who hails from Hollywood, Florida, announced his commitment to the Vols on Thursday afternoon, giving UT their second commitment from a five-star in less than a week, their second commitment of the day, and their fifth commit in the last five days.

According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Lewis is the No. 1 outside linebacker in the 2021 class and is ranked as the No. 10 overall prospect and No. 2 recruit in the state of Florida. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound linebacker holds offers from over 40 schools and had a top six of Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Penn State, and Nebraska back on April 4th.

Now, the highly-touted linebacker has eliminated those other schools from his list, and only the Big Orange remain.

Tennessee offered Lewis back in May of 2019, and Lewis visited campus shortly thereafter. The talented linebacker was once committed to Florida, pledging himself to the Gators on January 22, 2019. But a few months later on April 13th, Lewis decommitted and reopened his recruitment.

The top-rated outside linebacker was supposed to visit the Vols in January, but those plans didn’t work out. He also planned on coming to Knoxville once the dead period lifted after February, but he wasn’t able to get on campus before recruiting visits were temporarily postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

That didn’t stop him from committing to the Vols, though.

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Inside linebackers coach and ace recruiter Brian Niedermeyer has been the Vols’ primary recruiter for Lewis, and the two have developed a strong relationship. That was a big reason why Lewis committed to Tennessee.

In an interview with Matt Ray of VR2, Lewis gushed about Niedermeyer, saying that the young assistant put Tennessee higher up his list than other schools prior to making his decision.

“Mine and his relationship has grown a lot,” Lewis told Ray. “I feel like I could talk to him about anything.

“Now that he is at my position, it pushes Tennessee up my list because we have a great relationship. We talk all the time. That is my guy.”

Lewis is an explosive tackler who has a great burst off the snap. He can get into the backfield quickly and with ease, and he makes the ball carrier pay when he gets his hands around them. He makes plays look effortless, and his speed when closing on a ball carrier is impressive. He’s an athletic pass rusher who is also an effective run stopper, showing a lot of versatility. His long arms are a huge asset and adds another dimension along with his athleticism.

As a junior at Miami Northwestern (before transferring to Chaminade-Madonna Prep prior to his upcoming senior season), Lewis amassed 105 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and three interceptions in 13 games according to MaxPreps. He was named a First Team Junior All-American by MaxPreps after his 2019 season, and he helped lead Miami Northwestern to a 13-2 record and the Florida 5A state title.

In Lewis’ last two years at Miami Northwestern in 2018 and 2019, he combined for 207 tackles, 50 tackles for loss, 24 sacks, four interceptions, and three forced fumbles.

Lewis gives the Vols 15 public commits in their 2021 class, and he’s the second five-star to commit to Tennessee over the last week. Five-star weak-side defensive end Dylan Brooks committed to the Vols on Sunday, then four-star defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson committed on Monday and four-star wide receiver Julian Nixon pledged to UT on Tuesday. Earlier on Thursday, the No. 1 JUCO running back in the 2021 class also committed to Tennessee.

Tennessee now has a consensus top-5 recruiting class in the 2021 cycle.

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