In-State Tennessee Football Target Bumped to First Overall in Top 300

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    Walter Nolen Tennessee

    (Photo via @WalterNolen4 on Twitter)

    Walter Nolen, a five-star defensive lineman who is high on Tennessee football’s priority list, has recently been named the top-ranked recruit in the ESPN Top 300 rankings.

    Nolen is also the top-ranked 2022 recruit according to 247 Sports and 247 Sports Composite. Although, he is the sixth-ranked player according to Rivals.

    Nolen tweeted out his movement in the ESPN rankings on Thursday. He is currently the only player in the ESPN Top 25 that is from the state of Tennessee.

    The Cordova, TN native recently released his top-five list on July 9.

    His top five consisted of Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan.

    Interestingly, Nolen’s original top-eight rankings did not include Tennessee. However, after the addition of Rodney Garner to the Tennessee staff, Tennessee abruptly entered the mix.

    The 6-foot-4, 300-pound talented 2022 defensive lineman is the top-ranked recruit for a reason. Nolen is a disruptive force on the football field. He is the type of player that can immediately change the course of a program.

    Nolen played his junior season at St. Benedict at Auburndale. In fact, former Tennessee defensive lineman Marlon Walls was his coach that year. Walls spent two years coaching the team and resigned after the 2020 season.

    The top-ranked overall prospect in the class of 2022 has taken two visits so far. He first visited Florida on June 4. Nolen then followed that with a visit to Michigan on June 18.

    According to 247 Sports, Rodney Garner and Jerry Mack are the two lead recruiters for the defensive lineman.

    Walter Nolen would be the second-highest commit in Tennessee football history if he does land in Knoxville. He is currently graded at 0.9991, whereas running back Bryce Brown was graded at 0.9992 in 2009.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.