Impact Report: 2021 ATH Kaemen Marley

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    (Photo via Paul Church/The Courier-Tribune)

    Every time Tennessee gets a commitment in either football or men’s basketball, we will write up an impact report looking at what that recruit does well, what we feel can be improved, and what his projected impact with the Vols could be over the next few years.

    Latest Commit: Kaemen Marley, ATH
    Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 210 pounds
    School: Eastern Randolph (North Carolina)
    Home Town: Ramseur, NC

    247Sports Composite: 
    No. 146 overall, No. 5 ATH
    247Sports: No. 18 ATH
    Rivals: 5.9 rating, No. 90 overall, No. 2 ATH

    Notable Offers: Ohio State, Florida, Texas A&M, North Carolina

    What we like:

    I really like the toughness and physicality Kaemen Marley brings to the table, especially on offense. The word “gritty” immediately springs to mind when watching his film. He has a strong stiff arm and is a dangerous receiver to face in the open field. He sheds off tackle attempts time and time again in his highlights, and he rarely goes down on first contact, showing off a good center of gravity. You can tell Marley plays basketball because of his ability to win jump balls and “box out” defenders for positioning in the red zone. He’s not afraid to get hit; in fact, it looks like Marley embraces contact and loves to bounce off defenders.

    Defensively, Marley brings that same physicality he shows on offense. He’s capable of laying down some big hits and looks like a good fit for safety or potentially as a linebacker with more bulk added to his frame. He even plays on special teams as a returner and a punter, further showing off his versatility.

    Places to improve: 

    Marley isn’t going to impress you with his speed. He’s not slow once he gets going, but he lacks the initial burst that you’d like to see in top-end athletes. It makes his ceiling on offense a little more questionable because you have to wonder how effectively he can get off press coverage at the next level. Defensively, that wouldn’t be as big of a problem if he’s playing back as a safety. But what Marley lacks in elite acceleration and explosiveness he more than makes up for with his physical style of play and attitude.


    It’s hard to get a gauge of where Marley will play on the field for Tennessee. I really like what he does on offense, playing like a battering ram who can separate once he gets down the field. His stiff arm and inability to be brought down on first contact makes him a valuable weapon in the passing game, and his basketball skills translate well on offense. But knowing UT’s staff, I could see Marley playing more on defense for the Vols, and I think his potential could be a little better there. Ultimately, Marley is the type of athlete you take in a class and figure out where to play him later. In high school, he’s played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, inside and outside linebacker, free safety, and strong safety. He could fill any number of options for Tennessee, and that’s invaluable. I see him taking a little time to make an impact at UT because he’ll need to learn the nuances of wherever he ends up, but I really like his potential.