Wednesday marked another recruiting rankings update by 247Sports, and with it came quite a bit of movement for some of Tennessee’s commits.
The Vols currently have 24 commits in their 2021 class, and UT’s class ranked No. 3 in the country and No. 1 in the SEC prior to the latest update. After moving around the ratings, Tennessee has now reclaimed the No. 2 spot nationally from Clemson, edging ahead of the Tigers by a mere 1.52 points in the total rankings on 247Sports. Ohio State still has the top class in the 2021 cycle.
How did Tennessee move up that slight bit? By getting a ratings boost for a number of prospects.
One of the biggest jumps of any of Tennessee’s commits came from Miles Campbell. The talented tight end went from the No. 30 overall tight end in the class per 247Sports to gaining a fourth star and moving up to No. 324 overall and jumping into the top 10 of his position. Campbell is still a three-star in the composite, but that might change in the coming weeks.
The Vols’ quarterback commit, Kaidon Salter, also rose up the rankings.
Salter saw a slight bump from No. 90 overall to No. 62 overall on 247Sports, but he got an even bigger boost from Rivals.com on Wednesday. Salter went from a three-star to a four-star on Rivals, moving up to the 12th-rated dual-threat quarterback on that site. He remained the No. 4 dual-threat QB on 247Sports.
“Tennessee commit Kaidon Salter is now nestled right outside that top seven, and based on our limited exposure to him this spring and comparative review of his junior film, we like the profile, versatility, athleticism and arm talent enough to position him at No. 62 overall,” wrote Barton Simmons of 247Sports.
Rivals shared a similar sentiment on Salter.
“This is a tough one because there are so many different views of Salter,” wrote Mike Farrell, the recruiting director for Rivals. “He has a strong arm, and he can run, and he did a good job stepping up last season for his team. But Cedar Hill doesn’t run a very sophisticated offense, and a lot of what he does is throw the ball downfield and let his receivers run under it.
“But when you break him down even more his throwing mechanics are very solid, he’s great at extending the play and moving around the pocket with his eyes downfield, and he has nice touch on some balls.
“His intermediate passing game needs work as does his mid-field accuracy, but his ceiling is high. I’m bumping him to a 5.8 four-star and like the rest he will be considered for the Rivals250 the next time we rank as a group.”
Hudson Wolfe, Tennessee’s newest commit in the 2021 class, also moved up the rankings. The in-state tight end is a four-star in the composite rankings, but he was just a three-star in the regular 247Sports ratings.
After Wednesday, Wolfe is still a three-star on 247Sports, but he got bumped up from being the No. 22 tight end in the class to the No. 17 tight end, moving up to No. 475 overall in the cycle.
Running back Jaylen Wright also moved up a good amount despite not really receiving a bump in his rating score. Wright still has a rating of 87 by 247Sports, but he moved up from the No. 38 running back in the class to the 30th-best back, climbing up to No. 587 overall.
Wide receiver Jordan Mosley, defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson, linebacker Aaron Willis, and linebacker Terrence Lewis all moved up or down just one spot in the update.
It wasn’t all positive for Tennessee’s commits in 247Sports’ update, though.
Two of the Vols’ commits dropped considerably in their rankings. Offensive tackle Colby Smith fell from No. 130 overall and the No. 19 tackle to 232nd overall and 26th among offensive tackles. He’s still a four-star on 247Sports, but he’s outside the top-500 recruits in the composite now.
Running back Cody Brown also saw a big dip in his rankings. Though he’s still a four-star, Brown dropped from No. 131 overall and the ninth-best running back to No. 257 overall and No. 16 among backs in the class. Brown is still an elite prospect in the composite, coming in at No. 158 overall.
All in all, Tennessee now has 11 of their 24 commits rated as four-stars or higher in the 247Sports Composite rankings. The average rating of 89.93 for UT’s commits is right on par with Tennessee’s 2020 class, which had an average of 89.92 after Signing Day.