Tennessee has continued their recruiting momentum into the 2021 cycle, already landing a five-star point guard in Kennedy Chandler and a four-star wing in Jahmai Mashack. However, with three post players leaving the program after this upcoming season, the Volunteers have needs left on the board.
John Fulkerson, Yves Pons and E.J. Anosike are each set to play their final years for Tennessee, freeing up plenty of minutes for a potential freshman big man. One option throughout the process has been Jabari Smith, a five-star power forward prospect out of Tyrone, Georgia.
Smith is the 5th ranked player in the nation, and he’s set to announce his commitment on Friday. His final six consists of Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Georgia, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
2021 five-star Jabari Smith will announce his college decision this Friday, he tells me.— Tipton Edits (@TiptonEdits) October 6, 2020
Choosing between: Georgia, Georgia Tech, UNC, Tennessee, Auburn, & LSU.@jabarismithll
Smith is 6-10, 210 pounds. He currently sits as the top ranked power forward prospect in the 2021 class.
Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers have surged ahead this week in the 247Sports crystal ball projections, earning each of the four votes to this point. Smith has ability to face up and shoot, something that Pearl’s system would certainly reward.
Smith took an official visit to Tennessee back in February. Just one week before that, he took his official visit to Auburn. After that, it was all virtual visits for Smith as on-site recruiting was paused due to the coronavirus outbreak.
If Tennessee misses here, it’s going to be interesting to see where Barnes turns next. Olivier Nkamhoua, Drew Pember, Uros Plavsic and Corey Walker Jr. will all take a backseat this season, but each could develop into a productive starter down the road. However, each of the four remains unproven.
Be on the lookout for Smith’s commitment on Friday, we’ll update you when the news comes across.
Friday UPDATE: Smith has committed to Auburn.