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Tennessee Recruiting: Sylvester Smith de-commits from the Vols

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With the Early Signing Period just days away, it isn’t surprising to see prospects flip their commitments. Tennessee was on the wrong end of one on Saturday. 

Sylvester Smith, a four-star safety, announced his de-commitment from Tennessee on Saturday. 

“First and foremost, I want to thank the University of Tennessee for welcoming me with open arms,” Smith wrote in his Instagram post. “I want to thank coaches Hyp, Banks, and Nez for spending the time and effort to recruit me. With that being said, I must do what is best for me and my family and decommit from the University of Tennessee. 

“Thank you Tennessee and Tennessee fans.”

Smith had been entertaining other schools, but seemed firmly locked in with the Vols until this weekend. Smith took a visit to Auburn this weekend, according to reports from 247Sports. 

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The Munford, Ala. native had shown interest in the Tigers, but the coaching uncertainty more than likely kept him away. Now, with Hugh Freeze’s staff in place, Smith seems to be getting attention from the Tigers. 

Ryan Callahan of GoVols247 has already given Smith a crystal ball, projecting the four-star prospect will go to Auburn. 

Smith committed to Tennessee in April. The 5-foot-11 and 195-pound defensive back was extended a scholarship offer from the Vols in April 2021. 

He visited Tennessee several times before and after his commitment, showing his clear interest in the Vols. He ranks as the No. 222 prospect nationally, the No. 17 safety, and the No. 16 prospect from Alabama. 

Smith played on both sides of the ball for Munford High School. He rushed for 1,735 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also threw for 606 yards and seven touchdowns. 

On the defensive side, Smith finished with 42 tackles, four tackles for loss, and five picks. 

Following the loss of Smith, Tennessee is left with two safeties in the class of 2023. Both John Slaughter, a three-star safety, and Jack Luttrell, a three-star safety, have arrived on campus and are participating in bowl practice. 

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