2016 RECRUITING CLASS TOP TARGETS
This list is not a reflection of how talented each prospect is with respect to each other, but is rather a ranking of which prospects we believe Tennessee wants most. These are prospects that are in high need for the Vols' 2016 recruiting class and would have the ability to play early in their careers.
1. Mecole Hardman Jr. (WR) 5' 11" 175 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 2
Hardman is another very talented prospect from Georgia. The Vols are primarily targeting Hardman as a receiver, which will be a position of need for the 2016 recruiting class. He has elite level speed and would be a great addition to this team no matter which side of the ball he ends up on. Hardman has had the Vols as his leader or co-leader consistently for months.
2. Nigel Warrior (S) 6' 0" 175 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 1
Warrior is one of the many legacy recruits that Butch Jones has targeted in recent years, which has worked pretty well so far. Hailing from Georgia, Warrior is rated as one of the top safeties in the nation, which is going to be a position of need for Tennessee with both Brian Randolph and LaDarrell McNeil graduating just before the arrival of the 2016 recruiting class. His size and skills are already impressive and he will only get better as he keeps developing in high school.
3. Kyle Davis (WR) 6' 3" 210 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 4
Davis is a player that had been committed to South Carolina for a while, but he recently reopened his recruitment. He is one of the top receivers in the nation and enjoyed his visit to Rocky Top for the Orange & White game. Davis would fill a position of need for the 2016 recruiting class.
4. Derrick Brown (DT) 6' 4" 305 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 5
Brown is one of the top players in the nation, currently ranked as the #4 overall player by 247sports. He is thought to still be a Georgia lean, but he recently made it known that he does not have a specified leader and is still open to the Vols as a serious contender. Defensive tackle is not a position of great need for the 2016 recruiting class, but a player like Brown will be recruited heavily regardless of need.
5. Landon Dickerson (OT) 6' 5" 305 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 3
A huge offensive line prospect, Dickerson recently rose into the 4-star rankings on 247Sports. He has already visited Tennessee and is very high on the Vols. Currently ranked as a top-5 offensive tackle by 247Sports, Dickerson would be a huge get for Tennessee.
6. E.J. Price (OT) 6' 6" 310 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 8
Price visited Rocky Top for the first time for Orange Carpet Day and left with the Vols as one of his co-leaders along with Georgia and Auburn. He is a very large prospect and could project as the future left tackle of the Vols.
7. Joejuan Williams (S) 6' 2" 195 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 6
Williams is another part of the class of in-state recruits that Tennessee has available in 2016. Ranked as a safety by some and a cornerback by others, Williams would play whichever was needed at UT. Being from Nashville gives the Vols a leg up in his recruitment, but a recruit this talented will be chased by many of the top programs in the nation until signing day.
8. Nigel Knott (CB) 5' 11" 175 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 7
Nigel Knott is another of the top cornerback prospects in the nation and currently has the Vols among his leaders. This top prospect may be a tough pull out of the state of Mississippi, but his size is already impressive and he could be one of the top corners the Vols have brought in over the past few years..
9. Diondre Overton (WR) 6' 5" 195 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 9
Overton is rising the rankings quickly and he is poised to explode during his senior season. He is a massive receiving target that is already high on the Vols and could give Tennessee their vertically gifted receiver they typically bring in every year.
10. Tavien Feaster (RB) 6' 0" 205 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 10
Feaster has been rather quiet on the recruiting trail since his commitment to Clemson in February, but his visit to Tennessee for Orange Carpet Day may have completely reopened his recruitment. Tennessee coaches have stated they will only bring in one running back in this class, but Feaster will be a name to watch until signing day.
11. Donnie Corley (WR) 6' 2" 180 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 12
Corley is another of the highly talented group of receivers being targeted by the Vols. He is already very high on Tennessee and Butch Jones will attempt to steal him out of the state of Michigan. Tennessee should have quite the battle on their hands against Michigan and Notre Dame to attain the commitment of this receiver.
12. Marquez Callaway (ATH) 6' 2" 215 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 25
Callaway is a receiver/safety prospect that has shown a lot of appreciation towards Tennessee lately. He may have the Vols with a slight edge over Georgia currently, and he would be a very dynamic weapon to land.
13. Binjimen Victor (WR) 6' 4" 170 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 13
Victor is a skinny receiver but is still one of the best receivers in the nation in 2016. He was thought to be a Florida lean, but he recently pushed back his commitment date. Look for the Vols to make a push for this very talented receiver.
14. Rashan Gary (DT) 6' 4" 290 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 11
Ranked as the #1 player in the country according to the 247Sports composite and ESPN, Gary would be a huge addition to the 2016 recruiting class. He does not play at a great position of need, but his immense talents are wanted nearly everywhere. Jarrett Guarantano is trying his best to get Gary to join him on Rocky Top.
15. Freddie Swain (WR) 6' 0" 170 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 14
Swain is a 4-star receiver from Florida that has had some recent momentum towards Tennessee. The coaching staff is still looking to add multiple receivers if possible and pulling Swain out of Florida would be a major win. He had an incredible week at Nike's "The Opening" and looked like one of the top receivers in the nation.
16. Jauan Williams (OT) 6' 7" 305 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 16
Williams is one of the top offensive tackles in the nation, so naturally he is being chased by many of the top programs in the nation. His recruiting process has really taken off lately and Tennessee is one of the teams with their name swirling around in the discussion at the moment. The Vols are always looking for more offensive line talent and Williams would be a great fit. He is still a little raw of a prospect, but he could become an elite tackle with the correct development.
17. Emmit Gooden (DT/DE) 6' 3" 280 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 15
Gooden is one of the best defensive talents in the state of Tennessee. Gooden has great size (6' 3" 280 lbs), so the Vols' coaching staff feel that as he keeps growing he will be able to slide inside to defensive tackle. Gooden is high on the Vols, having committed to them earlier in the recruiting process. Even now that he opened his recruitment back up, the Vols are still his favorite.
18. Javon McKinley (WR) 6' 2" 205 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 19
McKinley has been on Tennessee's radar for some time, but was a little quiet towards Tennessee for a few months. However, recently he named Tennessee as one of the teams to receive an official visit from McKinley, which could always result in Tennessee making a move for this 4-star receiver.
19. Elijah Holyfield (RB) 5' 11" 205 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 18
Holyfield is a top 10 running back in the nation and the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. He would bring a size /speed (205 lbs and 4.5 forty) combo that the Vols could greatly use. Holyfield's recruitment is still very open at the moment, but Tennessee is among his top eight choices. The commitment of Carlin Fils-Aime likely will keep Holyfield from coming to Tennessee, but he is still worthy of being recruited.
20. Donte Vaughn (CB) 6' 3" 195 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 20
Vaughn is another of the taller in-state corners that the Vols are targeting in 2016 who could be transitioned into playing safety. While he might be a little on the slower side for a corner right now, that could improve as he progresses and works on his technique. Vaughn is a talented in-state prospect that the Vols will try to bring to Rocky Top.
21. Ikenna Okeke (S) 6' 2" 200 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 23
Another 3-star prospect, Okeke is a physical player at a top position of need. As an in-state prospect, Okeke will be pursued by coaches in hopes of bringing him to Rocky Top.
22. Jordan Fuller (ATH) 6' 2" 190 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 17
Fuller is a very versatile athlete that could help the Vols in many ways. He has received a large number of scholarship offers from top teams and is someone who is near the top of the Vols' list.
23. Mykel Jones (WR) 6' 0" 180 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 21
Another 4-star receiver high on Tennessee, Jones is a strong option if other receivers on this list don't come Tennessee's way. He has adequate size and possesses great offers from USC, Alabama, LSU, and others.
24. Khalil Ladler (CB) 5' 10" 170 lbs Prev. Rank: NR
Ladler was once regarded as one of the best corners in the nation, but he has since fallen down the rankings. However, he is still a top target of the Vols and would fill a position of need.
25. Rontavius Groves (WR) 5' 11" 175 lbs Prev. Rank: No. 24
Groves is a receiver that is developing quickly and is now rated a 4-star prospect by 247Sports. He is a smaller in-state receiver that Tennessee continues to pursue.
Players To Watch:
Josh Brown (OLB) 6' 3" 220 lbs
Romeo Finley (S) 6' 1" 185 lbs
Dillon Mitchell (WR) 6' 1" 180 lbs
Jeremy Darvin (DT) 6' 3" 275 lbs
A.J. Morris (WR) 6' 2" 205 lbs
Jonathan Timmons (OT) 6' 5" 315 lbs
Michael Perry (DT) 6' 1" 330 lbs
Grant Holloway (WR) 6' 2" 180 lbs
Shug Frasier (DT) 6' 2" 320 lbs
Malcolm Roach (DE) 6' 3" 255 lbs
Janarius Robinson (DE) 6' 6" 260 lbs
Keyshawn Young (WR) 5' 11" 175 lbs
Mareio McGraw (CB) 6' 0" 175 lbs
Bailey Byrum (OT) 6' 7" 300 lbs
Treyvon Diggs (ATH) 6' 0" 185 lbs
Freddie Pinder (WR) 6' 5" 195 lbs
Tre Nixon (WR) 6' 1" 170 lbs
Kareem Walker (RB) 6' 0" 210 lbs
Cavin Ridley (WR) 6' 2" 200 lbs