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Tennessee Football: Things to know about 2024 signee Marcus Goree Jr.

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With National Signing Day past, Tennessee football’s 2024 recruiting class is ranked the No. 13 class in the nation by 247Sports Composite. Out of the 21 prospects in the class, six come from Tennessee and four from Georgia.

One of those from Tennessee is three-star Cleveland product Marcus Goree Jr. Here are some things to know about Goree.

Where Goree ranks 

Goree was a consensus three-star prospect as a defensive back. 

247Sports ranked him as the No. 45 safety in the class and the No. 14 prospect from Tennessee. The composite puts Goree as the No. 535 prospect nationally. 

On3 ranks Goree as the No. 52 safety in the class and the No. 12 prospect from Tennessee. Their industry rankings also put Goree as the No. 541 prospect nationally. 

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ESPN ranks Goree as the No. 58 safety nationally and the No. 20 prospect from Tennessee. 

Rivals puts Goree as the No. 61 safety in the class and the No. 15 prospect out of Tennessee. 

Locking down the Tri-Star state 

It has been an emphasis for Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel to keep the talent within Tennessee, in the state of Tennessee. Goree is an example of that. 

Goree received a scholarship offer from Tennessee in June 2022. He committed to the Vols on Feb. 18, 2023. He took his official visit to Knoxville in June and made a slew of trips for games as well. 

The numbers 

Goree found success on Bradley Central High School’s defense. He helped lead the Bears to an undefeated season his senior year while racking up 72 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He was tabbed a 2023 Region 2-6A first-team selection for his senior season. 

As a junior, Goree recorded 54 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, 11 pass breakups and two interceptions. He was also a TSWA All-State selection. 

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder mainly played the nickel at Bradley Central. 

Arriving early 

Goree joins a secondary with a ton of turnover from the 2023 season. The Vols lose eight defensive backs from a year ago — six to the transfer portal and two to the draft. 

Early playing time is available, and Goree could compete for one of those spots. He arrived early for bowl practices to get a head start for one of those positions. 

“And I’m fixing to turn around and play with a whole bunch of different guys in the blind of an eye,” Goree told 247Sports. “It’s going to be a big change, a bigger program — a lot more grind.”

Scouting report 

Cooper Petagna of 247Sports called Goree a “long fluid athlete” who could grow in his man-to-man defense. 

“Estimated at 6-foot and 170-pounds plus, appears to possess growth potential to add weight to his frame. Two-way player that displays good athleticism on both sides of the field,” Petangna writes. 

“Long fluid athlete that’s positioned primarily at the strong safety position and excels closer to the line of scrimmage. Exhibits good lateral range and closing speed. Shows the ability to play sideline to sideline. Reactionary defender that plays with very little wasted motion and shows the ability to key and diagnose in the short to intermediate part of the field. Strong run support defender. Physical tackler that will strike you at the point of attack. Possesses situational pass rush ability from the second level.

“Limited sample size as a pass defender. Flashes some ability to play the deep part of the field but typically is not asked to play man to man as a slot defender. Although evidence is limited, appears to possess the athletic ability to cover possession receivers and tight ends over the slot.

“Good athlete that projects as a multi-year starter at a Power Five program at the next level. Sunday ceiling will be dictated by growth potential, versatility in the passing game and speed. Possesses the ability to contribute early on special teams and should ultimately need a year in a strength and conditioning program before seeing considerable snaps on defense.”

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