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Tennessee Football Target Chris Cole Names Top Schools, Commitment Date

Tennessee football has already picked up one top-target out of Salem (Va.) High School. Now the Vols are in the mix for another.

Four-star linebacker Chris Cole released his top schools on Monday and Tennessee made the cut.  Georgia, Miami, Southern Cal, Virginia Tech and Penn State also made his top schools. He set a commitment date for Sept. 10.

 “A rising program with a great coaching staff and great academic support,” Cole told On3 about why Tennessee made the cut.

Cole was last in Knoxville during the last weekend of July for Tennessee’s ‘Rocky Top Kickoff’ event. He ranks as the No. 58 prospect nationally and the No. 6 linebacker in the country. He is also the top prospect out of the state of Virginia.

Cole holds scholarship offers from 26 schools, including every school among his top six. Penn State, Virginia Tech, Miami and Georgia hosted Cole for official visits in June. There are three crystal ball projections, including one from Steve Wiltfong, that point Cole towards Georgia.

He visited Tennessee for the first time in March, getting to watch a spring practice.  Cole picked up 76 tackles with 11 for loss as a junior.

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Brian Dohn of 247Sports scouted Cole, projecting him to be a day-two pick in the NFL Draft.

“A high upside prospect who can grow into his impressive frame and can line up and cover a tight end or be in the box and impact the running game. Made the transition from defensive back to linebacker as a junior and made 76 tackles, including 11 for loss.

“Gets snaps on both sides of the ball. Multi-sport profile includes track and field, in which he finished fourth at the Nike Indoor Nationals in the 60 meter hurdles and 55 meter hurdles. Runs the 40 in the 4.6s with a broad jump of close to 10 feet. High character prospect with impressive football IQ. Has the athleticism to play in space. He is able to get off blocks well and shows excellent closing speed on the ball carrier. Reacts quickly and excels playing down hill. Understands how to sift through traffic to make a tackle. Speed and agility shows when lined up at safety and running outside of the hash marks in pass coverage.

“Understands proper linebacker depth drops when playing in a zone. Is assignment savvy and does not get caught out of position. Reliable tackler who plays angles well. Continuing to improve his lateral movement is important when playing in traffic. Increasing strength is important to be able to shed blocks and deal with the rigors of college football while playing close to the line of scrimmage. Will have to add 20 pounds or more and can be an impact player for a high-level program. Has talent, frame and athleticism to develop into an early-round NFL draft pick.”

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