Josh Heupel and Tennessee football won’t significantly boost their recruiting rankings with the Vols’ newest commitment Friday. However, the Georgia defensive lineman could add much more value than a ranking.
Jeremias Heard, a 247Sports Composite three-star out of Model 9-12 High School in Rome, Ga., became the 10th member of the Vols’ top 10 class for 2024. Standing at 6’7″ 295 pounds, Heard isn’t yet even rated on Rivals or ESPN.
Having played football for the first time since eighth grade last year, which was his junior year, Heard received an offer from Tennessee football in early December, according to Ryan Callahan of GoVols247. He announced his commitment on Twitter.
The Vols were the first team to officially offer Heard, and it appears that has paid off. Based on reports, Heard is set to be a fast rising defensive lineman in the coming months. Not playing football before last year is what held back his ratings.
However, he still managed to get up to a three-star rating on 247Sports and ON3, and the Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs have begun to show interest. Taking all of this into account, he could become the steal of the class.
Heard told 247Sports that Alabama and Georgia are looking at him to visit their summer camps, but he committed to Rocky Top beforehand anyway. As a result, don’t be surprised if spring evaluations up his rating very soon.
If that happens, then once again, Rodney Garner’s recruiting prowess strikes. The well-connected UT defensive line coach has been instrumental in picking him up.
With the loss of LaTrell Bumphus and Byron Young, Tennessee football needs more help on the defensive line this year. They are also going to continue to need to add depth, as Omari Thomas will likely be gone by 2024.
At the very least, Heard seems to add that, and there’s a chance he could be even better. Simply put, this looks like an underrated pickup for Josh Heupel and co. right now.