4-Star In-State LB Lists Vols Among Top Teams

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    Tennessee already has a number of highly-rated defensive prospects committed to them in the 2021 class. But the Vols want more, and they’re one of the top teams for one of the top defenders in the state of Tennessee moving forward.

    Prince Kollie, a four-star linebacker/safety who plays for David Crockett High School in Jonesborough, tweeted out a graphic showing his top 10 teams on Thursday night. Tennessee made the cut along with some of the top teams in the country such as LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Texas. Louisville, Virginia, and Wake Forest also made Kollie’s top 10.

    The 6-foot-1, 200-pound defender has blown up in recent months, adding over 30 offers since the calendar has flipped to 2020. That increase in interest led to a big rating boost for Kollie in 247Sports’ latest rankings update, as he gained a fourth star and moved up to No. 230 overall in the 247Sports rankings. In the composite rankings, Kollie is now rated as the No. 302 overall prospect, No. 21 outside linebacker, and No. 8 recruit in the state of Tennessee.

    Back in April, the Vols extended an offer to Kollie, and he spoke with RTI at the time, calling the offer “huge.”

    “It was huge. Being in-state, really, it’s home. It means a lot,” Kollie said. “I have a lot of friends around me that like UT, so I was excited about the offer. They’ll definitely be in my top list.”

    Kollie got to visit UT’s campus during the 2019 season, attending Tennessee’s 20-10 victory over Mississippi State. The in-state defender was really impressed with his visit, too.

    “It’s Rocky Top. It’s different from any other,” Kollie explained. “We’re the Volunteer State. We really like our football around here. I loved it, loved the stadium. It’s a really big stadium with a lot of fans that really care. It was great.”

    In high school, Kollie has played all over the field both on defense and offense. He’s listed as a linebacker by recruiting services, but he says he thinks he might be a better fit at safety. But he’s open to playing whatever position he’s asked.

    “Personally, I think I’d be a better fit for safety, but I’m starting to believe that I can actually be a great fit in the box at linebacker,” Kollie stated. “Most of the colleges want me at linebacker. There’s one, Virginia Tech, that’s offered at safety. Depending on how my body develops is where I’ll end up playing. Some of them think I could be a hybrid of both.

    “I’m open to anything. I’ll do whatever best benefits the team and whatever gets me on the field the fastest. That’s my view of it.”

    Kollie plays with violent physicality on defense, showing off good speed and instincts when defending the run. He has some good pass rushing ability as well, and his versatility is impressive. Ball carriers who get hit by him will feel it, that’s for sure. Kollie also plays on offense for David Crockett, and he can show off his athleticism there as well.

    As a junior, Kollie amassed 78 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception, seven passes defended, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery according to MaxPreps. On offense, Kollie caught 68 passes for 1,085 yards and nine touchdowns while also rushing for a score. In the last two seasons, Kollie has totaled 143 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks, four interceptions, 13 passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

    Kollie stated in April that if recruits are allowed to take visits again after the COVID-19 pandemic clears up, he plans on making another trip to Knoxville. Right now, the plan for Kollie is to make a commitment before the start of his senior year.

    Tennessee currently has 23 prospects committed to the in their 2021 class, a class that’s currently ranked No. 2 in the country. Only two of those commits are from the state of Tennessee, however. Three-star wide receiver Walker Merrill and three-star running back/athlete Elijah Howard are UT’s two in-state commits right now.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    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.