The Volunteers appear to have finished up their recruiting efforts on the defensive side of the ball following the commitment of linebacker Quart'e Sapp of Alpharetta, Georgia. Sapp choose the Volunteers over finalists Michigan State, Missouri and Miami.
Let's take a closer look at Sapp and how he fits in with the Tennessee program:
|Recruiting Service||Ranking||Measurables||LB Rank|
|Rivals||4 Star - 5.8||6'1" 197 lbs||#14|
|247||4 Star - 0.9077||6'1.5" 200 lbs||#14|
|ESPN||4 Star||6'2' 203 lbs||#11|
|Scout||4 Star||6'1.5" 200 lbs||#27|
Anticipated Role in 2015
Expect Sapp to come in and compete for the backup weak side linebacker position behind Jalen Reeves-Maybin with an immediate opportunity to earn a spot on special teams.
As you might expect from a linebacker of Sapp's size, he's great in space and very well could find himself on the field early in his career, especially on third downs. Sapp may come onto the team as one of their top coverage backers in the spring. His skills include the speed and ability to make open field tackles making him ideal as a spy against the mobile QBs that have murdered Tennessee in the past, e.g. the last ten Florida games! But don't think for a second that Sapp is a finesse player, he's on the record as saying his main goal his senior season was to prove his toughness and fearlessness in attacking ball carriers. After watching his film, I noticed how well Sapp utilizes his speed to explode on the ball and engulf his man. Time after time, he blows up bubble screen plays that have become all the rage in the spread offense, obviously it remains to be seen if he can do so at his current size at the collegiate level, but his attacking nature in high school is apparent on film. Sapp also possesses extremely long arms, which indicates he isn't done growing, a positive sign he will continue to develop under the Vols strength and conditioning program. He also has been blessed with soft hands, for a defender, and has the skill set to return turnovers for scores. Tennessee opponents may think twice about running swing passes once Sapp returns one on them.
Why the Vols
Sapp said several factors helped in his decision making progress including the fans, "One of the big things is their fan support," he also included, "Mostly about the coaches, the coaching staff ... they've been the most frequently talking to me." Butch Jones and staff have been recruiting Sapp from the time they arrived on campus. Sapp also said the additions of Kahlil McKenzie, Kyle Phillips and Shy Tuttle were critical in his decision. Sapp realizes the potential those of the line and the likelihood they occupy blockers and allow him to sit back and make plays.
What's Next for Tennessee
The commitment of Sapp finishes up the Vols defensive board for 2015 as their class is nearing capacity, with 29 current signees/commits.
(as of 01/29/2015)
|Recruiting Service||Team Ranking||5 Stars||4 Stars||3 Stars|