Vols Among Favorites for Elite 4-Star DT

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    The top prospect in the state of New Jersey and one of the top defensive tackles in the 2021 class has Tennessee among his favorites in his recruitment.

    Tywone Malone, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive tackle who plays for Bergen Catholic in Oradell, New Jersey, released a list of his top 14 schools on Twitter on Saturday, and the Vols made the group along with Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, USC, Florida, Texas A&M, Michigan, Penn State, Florida State, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, and Rutgers.

    According to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Malone is the No. 56 overall prospect, No. 5 defensive tackle, and the top-ranked recruit in the state of New Jersey in the 2021 cycle. The elite four-star holds nearly 30 scholarship offers, and Tennessee gave him his first scholarship offer back in late September of 2018. Malone attends the same high school current Vol quarterback Jarrett Guarantano attended prior to coming to Tennessee.

    Not only is Malone a standout in football, but he’s a star first baseman in baseball for Bergen Catholic as well. Malone plans on trying to play both sports in college.

    Interestingly enough, Brian Dohn of 247Sports compares Malone to former Vol and current NFL defensive lineman Malik Jackson in his evaluation of the four-star defensive tackle, calling Malone a “consistent tackler” and a “high effort player.”

    Malone is a very athletic big man who has quick feet and can move very well for his size. He’s an extremely passionate player who plays with an edge. Malone is strong at the point of attack and comes off the snap with aggression. He’s very strong and is a force at stopping rushing attacks.

    As a junior for Bergen Catholic, Malone totaled 54 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, seven sacks, and a pass defended in nine games according to MaxPreps. He also caught a 34-yard pass and helped convert a two-point conversion on offense.

    The Vols currently have 15 prospects committed to them in their 2021 class, but only one of them is a projected defensive tackle. Three-star North Carolina DT Isaac Washington is UT’s lone defensive tackle commit as of right now.



    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.