A strong signing day continues for Tennessee as four-star edge rusher James Pearce signed with the Vols over South Carolina, Georgia and Louisville.
Pearce ranks as the nation’s 189th best player, 16th best edge rusher and the fourth-best player in the state of North Carolina according to the On3 consensus rankings. On3’s own rankings are even higher on the Charlotte, North Carolina native, ranking him as the nation’s 57th best player.
The Charlotte, North Carolina native originally planned on signing in the February signing period but Tennessee convinced him to commit and sign in December. Pearce took three unofficial visits to Knoxville this fall, taking in the Pittsburgh, South Carolina and Georgia games at Neyland Stadium.
Pearce took an unofficial visit to South Carolina in June and Georgia in October.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound pass rusher becomes Tennessee’s third highest-rated commit in its 2022 recruiting class. Pearce is the second defensive line commit Rodney Garner and the Vols have snagged today, joining Peach State defensive tackle Tyre West.
It’s no surprise what position Tennessee’s highest-rated commits play. The Vols have a blue-chip quarterback, offensive lineman and two receivers. Josh Heupel’s offense showed its worth on the field this season and the young coach has produced a plethora of strong quarterbacks and receivers in his career.
On the defensive side of the ball, both of Tennessee’s blue chip recruits are defensive linemen. Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner is one of the best recruiters in the south and the country. The SEC veteran has a reputation as a strong closer.
That’s showed up on his first signing day back in Knoxville as the Vols landed West and now Pearce.