Tennessee signs junior college offensive tackle

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    Junior college offensive lineman Jeremiah Crawford has signed with Tennessee, the football program announced Wednesday morning on Twitter. Crawford also had offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas State, Maryland and UCF.

    “First off I’d like to thank GOD for this opportunity because none of this would be possible without God and him constantly moving me in the right direction,” Crawford tweeted. “My family has also had a big part in this and I thank them for being with me every step of the way and always supporting me!

    “Thank you to my Coaching staff at BUCO for developing me into the player I am now and getting me ready to play at the next level. I’d also like to thank all the coaches who put their time into recruiting me. It means a lot. However only one place can be home at the end of the day. So I’d like to thank the Coaching staff at Tennessee for giving me this opportunity, it is one they won’t regret. And finally with all that said I’m COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE. Let’s go VOLS.”

    At 6-foot-6, 315 lbs., Crawford is ranked as the No. 40 overall JUCO prospect out of Butler County Community College in Kansas. He’s originally from Goddard, Kansas and is considered the third-best offensive tackle in junior college.

    Crawford signed with Butler out of high school and redshirted in 2018. New Tennessee head football coach Josh Heupel offered him a scholarship off while at UCF on April 10 of last year.

    Crawford is the 21st player to commit to the Vols in the class of 2021 and the third offensive lineman. Three-star William Parker, three-star J’Marion Gooch and three-star Amari McNeill were the other lineman to sign with Tennessee. McNeill could also play along the defensive line.

    Tennessee is in desperate need of offensive lineman. The Vols have just two returning starters after Wanya Morris transferred to Oklahoma, and Trey Smith and Brandon Kennedy graduated. Offensive tackle Jahmir Johnson is also in the transfer portal. Cade Mays and Darnell Wright are the only returning starters.

    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.