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What Needs is Tennessee Football Trying to Fill on The Recruiting Trail?

Tennessee football is hard at work on its 2024 class with several commitments still to be announced. The class currently ranks No. 11 based on the 247Sports Composite rankings.

The Vols’ current class is made up of 16 commitments: 11 four-star prospects and 5 three-star prospects. Regardless, there still remains some needs and positions that Tennessee wants to add to on that list.

Here is a look at some positions of need still, and targets that Tennessee wants to pick up.

Wide Receiver

There are a wealth of wide receivers in Tennessee’s locker room currently. No matter, the Vols and Josh Heupel will never turn down a wide receiver to play in the up-tempo offense.

Four-star prospect Braylon Staley, who recently committed to Tennessee, is the only true wide receiver in the 2024 class. There’s at least two wide outs expected to announce soon, and the Vols are the front-runners.

Mike Matthews

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Matthews, a four-star prospect, is expected to announce his commitment before his high school season. The prospect ranks as the No. 4 wide receiver in the class.

Out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., Matthews has visited Tennessee several times, including for an official visit in June. Clemson and Georgia are also in the running for the 6-foot-1 and 180-pound wide out.

Amari Jefferson

Listed as an athlete, Jefferson projects as a wide receiver at Tennessee. He ranks as the No. 22 athlete. Jefferson has been one of the top targets for Tennessee, and he attends high school right down the road at Baylor School.

Alabama has made a run at Jefferson, who has been committed to Tennessee for baseball. The 6-foot and 200-pound prospect has been an in-state priority for the Vols, and it is shaping up to be a tight race.

Interior Defensive Line

Depth in the trenches is essential in the SEC, and the Vols are no different. Especially with the little rest time Tennessee’s defense gets, and the rotations, depth is crucial. The current 2024 class has three defensive linemen committed, but two other commitments are on the way.

Four-star Kellen Lindstrom, three-star Carson Gentle and three-star Jeremias Heard are the Vols’ current commitments. Here are a couple prospect the Vols hold as top priorities.

Williams Nwaneri

The No. 3 prospect in the nation, Nwaneri holds the Vols in high regard. However, the 6-5 and 250-pound lineman has been trending towards Georgia and Oklahoma recently. He was in Knoxville the weekend of June 16 for his official visit.

The No. 1 lineman in the 2024 class, Nwaneri could be a game changer in the 2024 class. He is a rising senior at Lee’s Summit North High School in Lee’s Summit, MO.

Kamarion Franklin

Franklin, who is the No. 44 prospect in the nation, has visited Tennessee three times since 2023. The five-star prospect took his official visit to Tennessee the weekend of June 16.

He plans to officially visit Auburn in September, so a decision may wait until fall. Out of Lake Cormorant High School in Mississippi, just south of Memphis, Franklin ranks as the No. 8 defensive lineman in the 2024 class. He stands at 6-5 and 265 pounds.

Running Back

While another running back may not be needed for the 2024 class, the Vols are after one more back in this class. It seems that Heupel prefers two backs in each class. In 2023, it was Khalifa Keith and DeSean Bishop.

In 2024, it’s Peyton Lewis and Braylen Russell. Lewis is already committed to Tennessee, but he says running backs coach Jerry Mack wants to pair him with Russell to create “Thunder and Lighting.”

Braylen Russell

Formerly committed to Arkansas, Russell officially visited Tennessee in June. He is set to announce his commitment on July 14 in a decision that seems to be coming down to the Vols and Arkansas.

Russell ranks as the No. 24 back in the 2024 class. Tennessee is in good shape to land Russell currently, and Lewis is doing his best to peer recruit the back to Tennessee as well.

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