Tennessee has addressed one of their top remaining needs in the 2021 class by landing a highly-rated cornerback on Thursday.
Four-star cornerback Damarius McGhee out of Pensacola Catholic High School in Florida announced on Twitter that he has committed to the Vols. McGhee has chosen Tennessee over Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, and Louisville, the other teams in his top five back on June 10th. McGhee also added an offer from Alabama on June 12th.
— Damarius McGhee (@D_McGhee6) July 30, 2020
In 247Sports’ latest update at the end of May, McGhee jumped up from just outside the top 400 prospects in the 2021 class to No. 89 overall. He’s also the No. 8 cornerback and No. 12 recruit in the state of Florida per 247Sports’ rankings. He’s just outside of four-star range in the composite rankings at No. 376 overall, but it’s only a matter of time before he’s bumped on other sites and earns that fourth star there, too.
Tennessee was one of the first teams to offer McGhee, getting in on him before he blew up. The Vols extended an offer to him on July 31, 2019, joining Ole Miss and Mississippi State as SEC schools to offer him before the start of his junior season.
Since the end of his junior season, McGhee has added offers from 16 Power Five programs, including teams like Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, USC, Florida State, Miami, Utah, Kentucky, and South Carolina among others.
The versatile athlete does just about everything for Pensacola Catholic. He plays primarily on defense as a cornerback, but he also lines up at receiver on offense and even plays some quarterback. He’s also used as a return man on special teams, and he excels at that as well.
There’s a reason why McGhee has blown up on the recruiting trail this year, and it’s evident when you turn on his tape. He’s a burner who has a knack for making plays on the ball. He plays on both sides of the ball and uses his skills as a wide receiver to anticipate plays on defense. He can lay down some big hits, too, and he has pretty fluid hips. Not only does McGhee have a lot of potential and skills as a defensive back, but he’s a superb returner on special teams. He has a nice burst and has phenomenal acceleration, too. He uses that to his advantage in special teams and when picking off passes.
As a junior, McGhee totaled 49 tackles, two tackles for loss, four interceptions, five passes defended, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick on defense while catching 12 passes for 312 yards and two scores, running for 64 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and completing five of his 10 pass attempts for 109 yards and three touchdowns according to MaxPreps. McGhee also returned two kick-offs for touchdowns and returned an interception for a score. In the last two seasons, McGhee has picked off seven passes and has returned two for touchdowns.
Tennessee now has 24 commitments in their 2021 class, and McGhee is the fifth prospect to commit to UT who could play in the secondary in college. Four-star athlete Kaemen Marley, three-star safety De’Shawn Rucker, three-star safety Edwin White, and three-star cornerback Jay Jones are the other projected defensive backs.