The Tennessee Volunteers took a surprise commitment this week when they elected to give 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete Jerome Dews a scholarship offer. Or, at least, there's a possibility he's going to get a scholarship offer.
According to a Washington Post article, Dews -- who plays wide receiver and linebacker for Potomac High School -- was offered a scholarship by Butch Jones, linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen and defensive coordinator John Jancek. He is friends with current UT commits Orlando Brown and D'Andre Payne. However, today's Volquest.com story ($) indicates that Dews is a candidate for a grayshirt depending how this year's numbers shake out. He is a two-star player on 247Sports.
The Vols already have one grayshirt option with Devaun Swafford, but he elected to come to campus immediately and start trying to earn a spot on the roster.
Dews plays receiver in high school and, according to the WaPo story, had offers from seven schools with only one being an FBS program in Temple. He came to camp last week and was impressive in coverage and in individual drills. The work he put in there eventually led UT to take him. He also had an impressive showing at an Ohio State camp, according to Ryan Callahan's GoVols247 article.
He told Callahan that UT's expectations are for him to be 6-3, 235 in a couple years.
If the commitment sticks and is a committable offer, Dews will be the third definite linebacker commitment in this class thus far joining four-star JUCO linebacker Chris Weatherd and three-star Gavin Bryant. Athlete Neiko Creamer also could play linebacker as well as wide receiver, tight end or defensive end. The Vols remain in good shape with four-stars Dillon Bates and Kevin Mouhon as well as three-star athlete Elliott Berry, who projects as a linebacker in college. UT also is trying to flip Vanderbilt linebacker/safety commit Emmanuel Smith.
So, how numbers shake out is definitely a question. Dews had 14 sacks as a junior in high school and also caught 15 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. The Post story has a video link in it as well. According to that story, he had offers from Delaware, James Madison, Robert Morris, St. Francis and Hampton. The Vols love his ability and potential, and though he isn't where he needs to be physically, they believe with his agility, body bend and frame, he could be a player that will pay major dividends in two or three years.
UT also is trying to get back into the Washington D.C. area where they already have a commitment from Payne and Brown, who is an Atlanta-area player originally from the D.C. area. Dews is the Vols' 17th known commitment -- if he can be classified as such -- and with six linebackers running out of eligibility after this season, the Vols know they need to re-stock the position.