Neyland Stadium Fans

It’s Raining Defensive Backs

Tennessee continued its recent hot streak on the recruiting trail Thursday with verbal pledges from a pair of cornerbacks.

First, 6’0″, 175-pound cornerback Adonis Otey of Blackman High School in Murfreesboro decided to get the recruiting process over with in a hurry, committing to the Vols over a slew of early offers. The 2019 class member gives UT its fourth pledge from two classes down the road already. All of them are rated 4-star prospects on either 247Sports or Rivals, and all four are from the state of Tennessee.

Though Otey isn’t rated yet by 247, he’s an early 4-star on Rivals and had early offers from Florida, LSU, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Louisville and others. He joins Independence High School receivers TJ Sheffield and Kendrell Scurry as well as Chattanooga (Notre Dame HS) athlete Cameron Wynn as ’19 pledges.

Then, the Vols received some more good news later in the day when Olive Branch, Mississippi, cornerback Jaylon Reed decided to end the recruiting process. He’s a member of the 2018 class and continues UT’s recent surge following Saturday’s Orange & White Game. In the past week, the Vols have commitments from running back Jashaun Corbin, receiver Jatavious Harris and quarterback Michael Penix.

Also, fifth-year graduate transfer cornerback Shaq Wiggins gave the Vols some massive news when he elected to play his final year in Knoxville after transferring from Louisville. He’s buddies with departed running back Alvin Kamara who helped recruit him at this past weekend’s spring game. Wiggins also considered South Carolina and Mississippi State, and he should provide UT some much-needed help at a position of need in 2017. He has a great chance to step right in and start.

Though the Vols have a lot of talent on the back end of the defense, this spring showed the secondary again as one of the team’s biggest worries. With Cameron Sutton headed to the NFL, the Vols need a rotation to step up among cornerbacks Justin Martin, Emmanuel Moseley, Marquill Osborne, D.J. Henderson, Baylen Buchanan and others. UT also has a trio of freshmen coming in with Shawn Shamburger, Cheyenne Labruzza and Terrell Bailey ready to step onto campus.

On top of the commits UT has enjoyed this past week, the Vols also received intriguing news that top quarterback target Adrian Martinez decommitted from California following his weekend visit to Knoxville. Though Martinez hasn’t pledged to UT yet, the Vols have to be seen as a frontrunner for his services.

As for Reed, the 6’1″, 170-pound defensive back had offers from Georgia, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Purdue, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and others. He’s blessed with good length and athleticism, and he appears to be a nice prospect. The Vols and new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren identified him as a top target and were excited for him to end the process.

It’s been a big week on the recruiting trail for the Vols, and it may not be finished with quarterbacks coach Mike Canales expected to visit Martinez in his California home this weekend.

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