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Tennessee football: Four-star prospect Braylen Russell puts the Vols in his top 10

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A highly-touted running back in the 2024 class released his top 10 schools on Thursday, and Tennessee made the cut. 

Four-star prospect Braylen Russell, a former Arkansas commit, included five SEC schools in his top 10.

Russell’s top schools include Ole Miss, Purdue, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas State, Cincinnati, Kansas and South Carolina as well as Tennessee. The 6-foot-2 and 230-pound back has received over 15 scholarship offers. 

Previously, Russell was committed to Arkansas for just over 11 months before reopening his recruitment in October. The Vols extended him a scholarship offer in the summer of last year. 

Russell’s proximity to Fayetteville likely keeps the Razorbacks among his top schools. Attending Benton High School in Benton, Ar., Russell is just under three hours away from Arkansas’ campus. 

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The running back ranks as the No. 2 prospect out of Arkansas as well as the No. 15 running back in the country. Nationally, Russell ranks as the No. 170 prospect. 

Russell hasn’t been in Knoxville since he was extended a scholarship offer in June following a strong camp showing. His recruitment has picked up recently though. 

Russell has received 10 scholarship offers since the end of 2022, including one from former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and Arkansas State. Most notably, Texas A&M extended Russell a scholarship offer on Jan. 19. 

In 2021, the back averaged 102.5 yards per game, rushing for 823 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also caught 24 balls for 382 yards and four touchdowns. 

In 2022, Russell rushed for 1,643 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also had 22 receptions for 224 yards and a touchdown. 

Russell possesses both speed and power-back qualities, making him a very versatile athlete. 

As the February recruiting period winds down, the Vols will look to host Russell at a junior day or camp before he announces his commitment. 

In Tennessee’s 2023 class, the Vols brought in a pair of three-star running backs in Khalifa Keith and DeSean Bishop. Keith brings a power-back element to Tennessee’s backfield, while Bishop brings versatility and football speed. 

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