According to a report from GoVols247, class of 2020 4-star defensive end B.J. Ojulari has decommitted from the Tennessee Volunteers. Ojulari was the third highest ranked commit of the class and the sole defensive end commit to this point. Soon after the decommitment, Ojulari announced on Twitter his commitment to the LSU Tigers.
Ojulari committed to the Volunteers back in August—which was a bit of a surprise at the time. Tennessee was recruiting the Marietta prospects hard, and they knew they had a good shot as long as Harrison Bailey stayed committed. The complicating factor was that Ojulari had received interest from fellow SEC teams LSU and Georgia, who were the presumed favorites. Tennessee winning him over was considered a huge victory on the recruiting trail.
The rough start to the season meant that Ojulari’s commitment started to waver. He was still recruited hard by the two aforementioned teams, who are having comparatively better seasons. Turns out that LSU’s hot start was enough to convince him to flip. The hope was that the recent performances would help bring him back squarely into Tennessee’s camp. Unfortunately, it was too little too late. LSU also has his teammate Arik Gilbert committed.
Ojulari flipping is a blow to Tennessee’s class. He currently ranks as the 139th overall recruit in the nation and the 9th overall defensive end according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. One of Tennessee’s bigger needs in the class is defensive end, and Ojulari was expected to come in and contribute early. Tennessee’s options at the position are now dwindling, and securing a commitment from someone like 4-star defensive end Tyler Baron will be absolutely essential.
Tennessee’s 2020 class now ranks 21st in the nation and 9th in the SEC. They only have 16 commitments, so expect upwards movement as the year plays out.