For the second time in two nights, the Tennessee Volunteers football program was greeted with news of a four-star commitment from a 2014 recruit. Tuesday was JUCO offensive tackle Dontavius Blair, and Wednesday brought news of Brentwood Academy defensive lineman Derek Barnett's commitment.
While Barnett was thought to be deliberating between only Tennessee and Vanderbilt, he claims offers from all over the country, from Washington to Nebraska and Ohio State to LSU and Florida State. The 6'3", 270 pound lineman was rated four stars by Rivals, 247, and ESPN and three stars by scout. Rivals additionally lists him as the 235th best player in the country and 6th best strong-side defensive end, and 247 lists him 146th overall and 8th at his position. While Barnett is listed by recruiting services as a defensive end, his size certainly leaves open the option of moving him to the interior of the defense, where Tennessee will be desperate for quality talent after the loss of Daniel McCullers, Daniel Hood, and Maurice Couch.
Barnett's commitment is Tennessee's 26th for the class of 2014, and the Vols are expected to take around 30, possibly slightly more. He is the second strong-side defensive end in the class--the other is #1 JUCO DaVonte Lambert--and the third defensive lineman.
A high-quality commitment is always good news, and that the commitment comes from an in-state prospect at a position of need is even better. Welcome, Derek!