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Following Tosh Lupoi’s departure from Alabama, is Tennessee in the driver’s seat for LB Henry To’oto’o?

Tennessee needs to capitalize here.

Tennessee v West Virginia Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tennessee already seemed to have a little momentum brewing with four-star linebacker Henry To’oto’o after last weekend’s official visit, now they may be in the driver’s seat.

Tosh Lupoi became the latest key assistant to leave Nick Saban this offseason, leaving his post as Alabama’s defensive coordinator (and big time recruiter) for the Cleveland Browns. Lupoi will coach the defensive line on Freddie Kitchens’ staff in Cleveland.

What does that have to do with Henry To’oto’o? Lupoi was the four-star linebacker’s main recruiter at Alabama. In a race that was considered tight and was down to Tennessee and Alabama, could this tip the scales in the Vols’ favor?

To’oto’o is probably Tennessee’s most prioritized target not named Darnell Wright. The Vols have a clear need at inside linebacker after Lakia Henry’s decommitment. Four-star athlete Quavaris Crouch is going to play linebacker at Tennessee, we just don’t know which linebacker position. Outside of that possibility, Pruitt doesn’t have any inside linebackers committed to his 2019 class. Tennessee has turned up the heat on in-state prospect Chris Russell, while staying in play for To’oto’o. Now it seems realistic that the Vols could land both.

To’oto’o is a 6-2, 230 pound prospect out of De La Salle High School in California. He’s the 38th overall prospect in the 2019 class, according to 247 Sports. He visited Tennessee last weekend and will see Alabama on the 25th, then will finish things off with a trip to Oregon on February 2nd.

This is a battle that’s likely to go down to the wire, but it does seem like Tennessee has made up some ground for now.