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Tennessee Lands In Top Six for Four-Star Safety Prospect

The Tennessee Volunteers are one critical step closer to landing a highly-touted defensive prospect in the class of 2023.

On Monday afternoon, four-star safety DaKaari Nelson tweeted out a Top Six consisting of Clemson, Penn State, Oregon, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Auburn.

Nelson, a resident of Selma, Alabama, is a four-star prospect in the class according to 247 Sports, Rivals, and ESPN’s recruiting services. On3, however, lists Nelson as a three-star player.

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“Positioned the majority of snaps at the safety position, also sees some time at the corner position,” 247Sports National Recruiting Expert Cooper Petagna said about Nelson in February. “Flashes some good feel and instincts as a press man defender. Wins with physicality and length at the point of attack. Long speed to play the deep part of the field is somewhat of a concern, but shows the ability to add coverage ability in the short to intermediate part of the field. Displays excellent ball production and awareness. Recorded 8 INTs in his junior season, in addition to two pick-6s. Limited sample size as a tackler on film, but flashes some physicality at the point of attack.”

Standing at 6-foot-3 with a weight of over 200-pounds, Nelson already has great size for the position. Combined with his natural athleticism, Nelson’s size may even be best used as a hybrid linebacker/defensive back type of position down the road.

According to On3 Sports’ Recruiting Prediction Machine, Tennessee currently has the third-highest chance to land DaKaari Nelson. Leading the way for Nelson’s recruitment is Penn State at 34.5 percent, followed by Auburn at 15.5 percent. Tennessee is the third team in the mix at 13.2 percent.

Back on Mar. 5, Nelson was in Knoxville to visit Tennessee’s Junior Day on campus, an event in which the football program hosts a large number of future recruits and prospects. Prior to this spring, though, Nelson was in Knoxville for an unofficial visit in June of 2021, just a few months into Josh Heupel’s tenure as the Vols’ new head coach.

Out of the six schools that  Nelson named on Monday, the four-star prospect has been to four of them. According to 247’s recruiting timeline, the only two schools in which Nelson has not actively visited yet have been Kentucky and Oregon.

On Monday afternoon, four-star safety DaKaari Nelson revealed a new Top Six, which does include the Tennessee Volunteers.

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