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3-star safety Doneiko Slaughter commits to Tennessee

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Things moved pretty quickly in this recruitment.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Vanderbilt at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The recruiting world moves fast in 2019. Doubly so for Tennessee these days, who just gained a commitment from 3-star safety Doneiko Slaughter.

Slaughter hails from Roswell, Georgia and comes in at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds. If you’ve never heard his name associated with Tennessee, don’t feel like you’re out of the loop—he was quietly committed to Arizona State since June. Tennessee offered him on August 1st, though obviously Slaughter was not going to change his mind that quickly. It seemingly changed when decided to take an official visit to Tennessee on December 13th and simultaneously announced his decommitment from Arizona State. The proverbial writing was on the proverbial wall.

His highlight tape is extremely fun to watch (and if you want to see an impressive interception while wearing a cast, it’s worth it). Slaughter flies around the field and is tasked with getting into the backfield on a lot of plays. He delivers in a way you wouldn’t think a 5-11, 170 pound player could. Perhaps it’s the power of his last name, but his speed and pursuit are what really stand out when he’s coming in hot. He’s a great tackler by any definition—not just for cornerback. The same speed and pursuit puts him in a position to create turnovers or otherwise stop a play in the backfield.

He reminds me of Levonta Taylor a lot. He won’t ever win a size matchup, but if you put him in the right position, he can be a dynamic cog in the defense. Taylor’s last couple of years at Florida State weren’t the greatest, but that was mainly because of the defense they ran, along with the coordinator being terrible. Neither of those will apply in Pruitt’s defense.

To be clear, I don’t expect some of this to translate to the next level. The players simply get too big and too athletic for someone of his stature to have the sort of impact he does in high school. It’s also still a question to how he performs in coverage. The few clips where he’s in coverage, it’s typically a zone look and he’s not doing anything overly indicative of how he’ll perform in college.

Interesting to note is that 247Sports has him ranked as the 1456th overall player and 106th safety. Rivals has him as the 27th best safety and a 4-star. While I’m not sure I’d agree with Rivals evaluation, I definitely don’t agree with 247Sports. He’s a better prospect than what they have him as.

Slaughter’s commitment takes the place of Mordecai McDaniel, who flipped to Florida on Friday night.

Tennessee likely has just a couple spots left.