Tennessee Lands Blue-Chip Safety

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    Four-star safety Sylvester Smith committed to Tennessee over Auburn on Tuesday afternoon in a ceremony at his high school.

    Tennessee was trending for the Alabama native for weeks ahead of his commitment. The 5-foot-11 safety visited Knoxville twice in the last two months including the weekend before setting his commitment date.

    Smith is a near unanimous four-star prospect. The short safety ranks as the nation’s 195th best player the state of Alabama’s 15th best player according to the On3 consensus rankings. The 247sports composite rankings are slightly higher on Smith, ranking the safety as the nation’s 14th best prospect and Alabama’s 13th best prospect.

    Smith becomes defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and Tennessee’s second safety commit of the 2023 recruiting cycle — joining Georgia native Jack Lutrell. Martinez and the Vols have had success recruiting safeties early in this cycle, including making the top six for another Alabama four-star earlier this week.

    The Mumford, Alabama native becomes the fourth blue chip recruit in the Vols’ 2023 recruiting class joining Nico Iamaleava, Caleb Herring and Ethan Davis.

    Smith’s commitment pushes Tennessee to the No. 7 ranked recruiting class in the 2023 cycle, according to 247sports.

    The Vols have soared up the rankings over the last two months, adding four commits. Two of those commits are four-stars and the other two are highly ranked three-stars.

    A year after signing just three four-star defenders, Tennessee already has two commitments from four-star defenders and are bound to add more.

    Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.