2022 College Football Class Review: Tennessee

By Corey Long - @CoreyLong
Updated Oct. 11, 2021.

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Conference Class Rank

We do not have a conference ranking for Tennessee

2022 College Recruiting - 13 Commits

Last Player Grade Published on Oct. 12, 2021
Tennessee logo LB Kalib Perry (Georgetown, KY) commits to Tennessee  View Class

For Josh Heupel's first class at Tennessee, it's not going to be about filling holes so much, but rather finding prospects who can play while they are being developed and prospects who offer some scheme versatility. Perry (6-3, 219), a long athlete with good range, is a player who could be a linebacker who plays on or off the ball or possibly grow into being a traditional defensive end. He has worked in space and shows some ability to cover. Perry's lateral movement concerns me a little. He might be a little too stiff to cover backs out of the backfield. But I think Perry has some upside as a defender in the box. He'll find his way on the field and do some good things.

Kalib Perry's Player Grade: B-
Tennessee logo OL Addison Nichols (Norcross, GA) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Nichols is a big, athletic lineman who can move around on the line a bit. He lines up at left tackle in high school, but he could easily end up on the right side or playing guard. Nichols' technique is what stands out, and it's at a very high level for what I'm used to seeing from high school offensive linemen. He stays low and holds a strong base that makes it tough for him to get off balance. Nichols uses his hands and feet together so well that I wonder if he has a little bit of a basketball background. Nichols also shows very good lateral quickness, ppssessomg a good slide step that can get him to the second level or to help on a double team. Nichols is one of the best linemen in the 2022 class and a major get for Tennessee.

Addison Nichols' Player Grade: A-
Tennessee logo OL Maurice Clipper Jr. (Alpharetta, GA) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Clipper (6-4, 299) has very good size and a promising frame, but he needs to get stronger off the ball and develop a better initial punch at the point of contact. He also needs to work on his technique and gain a stronger foundation. I was surprised to see some defenders get into his chest and push him backward. If he can stay lower and get stronger in his lower body, Clipper would be able to flip that script easily. He has the length you want in a tackle prospect and could play on either the right or left side. Clipper must become more athletic, too. He struggles with speed rushers at time, but he has the size that's hard to get around. He needs some time to develop, but I think he projects as a future starter, probably on the right side.

Maurice Clipper Jr.'s Player Grade: C+
Tennessee logo WR Marquarius White (Pinson, AL) commits to Tennessee  View Class

What White (5-9, 157) may lack in size, he makes up for with some good speed. Frankly that's what Tennessee needs. The offense the Volunteers will run under Josh Heupel will have a lot of double slot formations and plays designed for the slot guy. White is a prospect who will be good in space. He has potential to be a dynamic run-after-catch wide receiver. White's fast enough to go downfield as well and hit the deep play. Obviously, White will have to fill out some and add strength, but the speed component is legitimate and very important for Tennessee.

Marquarius White's Player Grade: B-
Tennessee logo WR Cameron Miller (Memphis, TN) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Tennessee must bring two good classes of young receivers to get that position back to what it once was. Miller. (6-0, 185) is a nice prospect who could end up on the outside or in the slot. There isn't any junior film on Miller because he missed the season with an injury, so his size in unconfirmed. I like the quickness I see on film. Miller seems to be willing to do whatever is necessary on the field to get touches. His speed looks decent, but nothing elite. Overall, if he can get back in the swing of things his senior year, I think we'll get a better idea of Miller's true upside.

Cameron Miller's Player Grade: C+
Tennessee logo OT Masai Reddick (Detroit, MI) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Reddick (6-5, 325) is a good selling point for how camps can help a prospect. He obviously has the size you can't teach, but Reddick used the camp season to take in coaching and improve his overall presentationm so when he went to the summer prospect camps, he earned Power Five offers. He is still growing as an aggressive blocker. Reddick has decent feet with the pass protection, and he has some upper body strength and good hands. There's a lot of development to be done, and using the teachings he learned this offseason for a strong senior year is a good start.

Masai Reddick's Player Grade: C
Tennessee logo DL Jordan Phillips (Ocoee, FL) commits to Tenneesse  View Class

Phillips (6-2, 295) is a prospect who has the physical traits you look for in a defensive tackle. He is a good athlete who is a state qualifier in wrestling and weightlifting. Phillips' wrestling ability shines through on film because he plays low, plays with leverage, and knows how to take people down. He has a quick first-step that allows him to get through the line of scrimmage, and he makes his presence known at the point of contact. Phillips shows some good technique, and he can get off a double team because he uses his hands well. He is stout against the run as well. Phillips is a tough, gritty player, and Tennessee needs more of those guys.

Jordan Phillips' Player Grade: B-
Tennessee logo RB Dylan Sampson (Geismar, LA) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Sampson (5-10, 180) is the sixth prospect to commit to Tennessee and the first running back. He took an official visit on June 11 and committed to the Volunteers by the end of the visit, choosing Tennessee over Purdue, Vanderbilt and Louisville, among others.

Sampson is a nice fit for what Josh Heupel likes to do on offense. Sampson can run in space and catch passes. He can get to the perimeter and make plays out in space. Sampson might be able to do some work out of the slot as well. I expect Tennessee will take at least two running backs in this class, because Heupel loves to use an army of backs, especially ones who can also do slot work. Sampson should work out well.

Dylan Sampson's Player Grade: C+
Tennessee logo OT Brian Grant (Fort Walton Beach, FL) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Grant (6-8, 271) does a little bit of everything athletically. He plays football and basketball while doing strength events with track. Grant is still pretty young in terms of football experience and will be busy on the camp circuit this summer, which should work out to his benefit. All of his film is on the defensive line, and he was able to use his size and length to get past blockers. Grant has the size and general athleticism you can't teach. He's already hit the camp circuit and received more scholarship offers, so clearly his potential is being noticed. Tennessee might have gotten a steal.

Brian Grant's Player Grade: C+
Tennessee logo TE Brody Foley (Cincinnati, OH) commits to Tennessee  View Class

I'm curious to see how a tight end will fit in Josh Heupel's offense at Tennessee because he didn't use the position much at Central Florida. Of course, tight ends are not an easy position to recruit, especially at the Group of Five level. Foley (6-6, 239) is a big athlete who can catch some passes and be a physical blocker on the ball. He is a tough player who can beat a smaller defender and isn't afraid to take on a blitzing outside linebacker. Foley is strong on the interior as well, yet he possesses enough athleticism to run clean routes and he shows soft hands in the passing game. Foley is a unique athlete who could be a weapon in Heupel's offense.

Brody Foley's Player Grade: B+
Tennessee logo QB Tayven Jackson (Greenwood, IN) commits to Tennessee  View Class

In his first offseason, new Tennessee coach Josh Heupel must hit on finding the quarterback of the future for his offense. Jackson (6-4, 193) is a nice get for the Volunteers and gives Heupel a top-15-20 nationally ranked quarterback to build the class around.

Jackson is still a work in progress, and he is exciting because I think he has some much good football ahead of him. He is a good athlete who can run a little and move around pretty well. Part of Jackson's education is going to be learning how to move around in the pocket and keep his eyes downfield. One area where Jackson is showing good improvements is protecting the football and making better overall decisions. His junior film shows a lot of promise, and I expect a good senior season out of him.

Tayven Jackson's Player Grade: B
Tennessee logo LB Elijah Herring (Murfreesboro, TN) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Herring (6-2, 225) looks like an ideal off-ball linebacker. He is more than capable in run-game defense, and he can fight on blocks and plug the lanes. Herring has decent movement laterally and shows some ability to play in space. He can come off the edge, although I wouldn't have him doing in on a every-down basis. Herring has good instincts and is a good tackler, so there's no concern with having him move to the inside and defend in the box. Herring gets in the backfield and makes tackles for losses on the perimeter, so he can play up on the line of scrimmage as well. He's a physical, strong player who might be a little underrated. These are the players who Tennessee has to hit on.

Elijah Herring's Player Grade: B-
Tennessee logo DE Venson Sneed (Winter Park, FL) commits to Tennessee  View Class

Sneed (6-4, 235) is a pure football player, and he reminds me a little of another Tennessee defensive lineman who came out of central Florida named Corey Vereen. I like Sneed because he's the type of kid who will line up anywhere. He played offensive tackle and tight end along with everywhere on the defensive line. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up as a three-technique at the next level, but he has really nice length to play defensive end. On film, I see Sneed giving a lot of effort and lacking in some technique, but using his physical tools to win battles. He's a tough competitor, and that's really what Tennessee in this rebuild - tough, athletic kids who will work hard.

Venson Sneed's Player Grade: B-

All Commitments - 13

Most recent Commitment on Aug. 12, 2021
  • 8/12 - Kalib Perry LB
  • 8/10 - Addison Nichols OL
  • 7/16 - Maurice Clipper Jr. OL
  • 7/12 - Cameron Miller WR
  • 7/10 - Marquarius White WR
  • 7/2 - Masai Reddick OT
  • 7/1 - Jordan Phillips DL
  • 6/13 - Dylan Sampson RB
  • 5/26 - Brian Grant OT
  • 5/8 - Brody Foley TE
  • 4/28 - Tayven Jackson QB
  • 4/15 - Venson Sneed DE
  • 4/14 - Elijah Herring LB

Last Season's Roster:

  • Seniors: 0
  • Juniors: 0
  • Sophmores: 0
  • Freshmen: 0


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