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Four-Star WR JJ Harrell Decommits from Tennessee, Reopens Recruitment

JJ Harrell
Tennessee target JJ Harrell. Photo via JJ Harrell on Instagram (@jj_harrell).

Tennessee Football’s 2024 recruiting class is back down to 11 members after four-star wide receiver J.J. Harrell backed off of his commitment on Monday night. Harrell decommitted from Tennessee through a post on social media and also announced that he will be reopening his recruitment.

Harrell made the commitment to Tennessee on February 27, 2023, but revealed in his social media post that his commitment and recruiting process became “a little overwhelming” as he was also recovering from surgery at the time. Harrell said that he “rushed the process” and that reopening his recruitment will give him an opportunity to make “the right decision for [his] future.”

“Thank you to all of the coaches at Tennessee for all of your time,” Harrell said in his post. “I am decommitting from Tennessee, and I would like to reopen my recruitment. I am trusting God to lead my footsteps, and I look forward to finding a place that I can officially call home.”

Harrell, a six-foot, 187-pound receiver from Sardis, Mississippi, was the third-highest commit out of the 12 in Tennessee’s class at the time of his decommittment.

247 Sports, Rivals, On3 Sports, and ESPN all have Harrell as a four-star receiver in the class of 2024. On3 also has ranked Harrell as the top prospect from the state of Mississippi in their rankings.

More from RTI: Four-Star Athlete, Tennessee Target Announces Commitment Date

Since committing to Tennessee, both of the in-state Mississippi schools have seemingly made a big push for the six-foot receiver. On May 5, Ole Miss Insider David Johnson switched his 247 Crystal Ball prediction from Tennessee to Ole Miss. Then, on June 2, Mississippi State Insider Steve Robertson switched his Crystal Ball from Tennessee to Mississippi State.

Checking in with On3 Sports’ Recruiting Prediction Machine and Lane Kiffin’s Rebels are running away at 93.3 percent. Tennessee sits one spot back at 3 percent while Mississippi State is at 1.5 percent.

Tennessee does drop back in the rankings slightly after losing such a highly-ranked commitment. On May 28, following the commitment of RB Peyton Lewis, Tennessee was ranked No. 8 by 247, No. 8 by Rivals, and No. 9 by On3.

Now, after Harrell’s commitment, Tennessee drops back to No. 9 on 247, No. 12 on Rivals, and No. 13 on On3.

“A year ago, I never saw myself in this position,” Harrell’s full social media post read. “I have been blessed with a chance to have several options to continue to play the game that I love. Recruiting became a little overwhelming and became very tough to juggle along with my surgery. Because of that I feel like I didn’t give myself a true chance to explore all of my options. I rushed the process. I’m 100% healthy now, and I want to open my recruitment back up and give myself a chance to make sure I’m making the right decision for my future. Thank you to all of the coaches at Tennessee for all of your time. I am decommitting from Tennessee, and I would like to officially reopen my recruitment. I am trusting God to lead my footsteps, and I look forward to finding a place that I can officially call home.”

Tennessee Football 2024 Recruiting Class (June 5, 9:30 p.m. ET):

QB Jake Merklinger

  • Four-star
  • Savannah, GA
  • 6-foot-3, 195 pounds
  • Committed on 3/30/2023

ATH Jonathan Echols

  • Four-star
  • Bradenton, FL
  • 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
  • Committed on 7/4/2022

CB Kaleb Beasley

  • Four-star
  • Nashville, TN
  • Six-foot, 179 pounds
  • Committed on 10/21/2022

RB Peyton Lewis

  • Four-star
  • Salem, Virginia
  • 6-foot-1, 190 pounds
  • Committed on 5/27/2023

DL Kellen Lindstrom

  • Four-star
  • Springfield, MO
  • 6-foot-5, 235 pounds
  • Committed on 5/5/2023

ATH Marcus Goree Jr.

  • Four-star
  • Cleveland, TN
  • Six-foot, 177 pounds
  • Committed on 2/18/2023

OL Gage Ginther

  • Three-star
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • 6-foot-6, 287 pounds
  • Committed on 4/8/2023

S Edrees Farooq

  • Three-star
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • 5-foot-11, 180 pounds
  • Committed on 4/16/23

DL Carson Gentle

  • Three-star
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • 6-foot-3, 241 pounds
  • Committed on 7/23/2022

OT Jesse Perry

  • Three-star
  • Murfreesboro, TN
  • 6-foot-6, 275 pounds
  • Committed on 4/7/2023

DL Jeremias Heard

  • Three-star
  • Rome, GA
  • 6-foot-8, 293 pounds
  • Committed on 4/21/2023

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3 Responses

  1. These high school athletes have no ideah what commitment is or what commitment means. Pathetic!

  2. He saw the multiple 5 star receivers who are trending towards Tennessee and knew he would be sitting on the bench.

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