BREAKING: Four-Star Wing Commits To Tennessee

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    Small forward D.J. Jefferson committed and signed with Tennessee over Wake Forest and Washington State on his Instagram Friday afternoon.

    “D.J. is a lot of fun to be around,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “He’s got an engaging personality and infectious positive energy. That energy really translates to the basketball court. He’s an exciting player in transition who loves getting out in the open court. D.J. is also a high-level defender with big shoulders and a long wingspan. I think Tennessee fans will love getting to know him and watching him compete.”

    Jefferson’s commitment comes less than a week following his lone visit to Tennessee. That recruiting weekend has proved fruitful for Tennessee with Rick Barnes and his staff landing commitments from both Jefferson and New York big man Tobe Awaka.

    The 6-foot-5 small forward is a Richardson, Texas native but plays his high school basketball at the Minnesota Preparatory Academy in Saint Paul.

    Jefferson originally signed with Tulsa in November but was released from his NLI after a coaching change. The four-star recruit has seen his stock soar since, turning in an impressive performance at the Iverson Classic, helping him earn a plethora of new offers.

    Tennessee has been in deep for a number of “Lone Star State” native’s since assistant coach Rod Clark joined Barnes’ staff last spring, but Jefferson’s commitment marks the first recruiting battle the Vols have won in Texas.

    Jefferson is a fringe three-star/four-star recruit, but ranks as a four-star on three of the four major recruiting services. The Texas native ranks as a three-star and the nation’s No. 131 player according to the 247sports composite rankings, but as a four-star and the No. 77 player nationally according to the On3 consensus rankings.

    On3’s own rankings are higher on Jefferson than anyone else, ranking the wing as the 45th best player in the country.

    Jefferson becomes Tennessee’s third commitment in the class of 2022, moving the Vols to the No. 20 spot in the 247sports team rankings.

    With Awaka currently slated in the class of 2023, Tennessee has filled four roster spots with two scholarships still open. Kennedy Chandler left Tennessee for the NBA Draft and five different Vols entered the transfer portal this offseason.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.