Four-Star Tennessee Target DJ Jefferson Drops Top Three

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    Tennessee basketball and head coach Rick Barnes look to be gaining traction with guard/forward DJ Jefferson in the class of 2022. On Saturday afternoon, Jefferson released a new top three for his recruitment, which included Tennessee, Wake Forest, and Washington State.

    The 6-foot-5, 190-pound prospect is currently ranked as a four-star prospect according to On3 Sports’ consensus rankings. Originally from Richardson, Texas, DJ Jefferson now plays for Minnesota Prep Academy in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

    Jefferson first committed to Tulsa in August of 2021, however, Tulsa head coach Frank Haith decided to leave the Tulsa program on Mar. 12, 2022. One day later, Jefferson announced that he would be reopening his recruitment heading forward.

    “First and foremost, I would like to thank Coach Haith, Coach Shae & the Tulsa Staff for opening their arms to me & recruiting me heavy,” Jefferson said in a Twitter post in March. “But after everything that’s been going on with the program in the last 24 hours I have decided to talk with my family & my coaches & we’ve decided that it’s best to open my recruitment back up. Thanks again to the University of Tulsa. MY RECRUITMENT IS OFFICIALLY OPEN!!”

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    According to On3, Jefferson is set for a visit with Tennessee in Knoxville next weekend.

    “They kept it real with me,” Jefferson said about Tennessee in an interview with On3’s Jamie Shaw last week. “If I’m going to come there, I have to be willing to put the work in, and I could compete for minutes.”

    Jefferson also ranks as the No. 45 overall player in On3’s updated rankings.

    “DJ Jefferson has a smooth floor game,” Shaw said in his report. “Lefty with a compact frame with burst at the rim. A shot-maker. Has a smooth shot from three. Attacks closeouts right and left. Can get up on the rim. Consistent effort has been his main question mark. Upside to be an adequate defender both on and off the ball. Is comfortable handling the ball in the half-court. Good balance when attacking the basket. Can finish at the rim from multiple angles. Has a lot of tools in his bag—a top-50 type talent.”

    Jefferson isn’t the only high-profile recruit from the 2022 class that Tennessee is still targeting, though. On May 12, five-star forward Julian Phillips will announce his commitment heading forward. Just last week, Phillips announced a top seven consisting of Tennessee, Auburn, South Carolina, USC, Florida State, G League Ignite, and Overtime Elite.

    While there is no commitment date set for versatile four-star DJ Jefferson, the highly-touted prospect does plan to make his announcement sometime soon, according to Shaw’s report.

    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.