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5-star linebacker Terrence Lewis, Tennessee’s top commit, reopens recruitment

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5-star Terrence Lewis was once the highest rated member of the class.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Tennessee Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

In arguably the biggest recruiting loss of the year, Tennessee’s top commit, 5-star linebacker Terrence Lewis, announced that he has reopened his recruitment.

Lewis was considered one of the biggest grabs of the 2021 recruiting class when he committed to Tennessee. On the heels of a recruiting surge, Jeremy Pruitt and his staff went into south Florida and grabbed the most athletic linebacker in the country. This was fresh off the heels of a 2019 season where they showed off the type of results they could produce with a similarly talented linebacker in Henry To’o To’o. Lewis’ commitment grabbed peoples’ attention and made it clear that Tennessee was in for a fantastic year on the trail.

The de-commitment now shatters all of that. Tennessee’s awful results on the field are worse than expected, and it has caused them to lose two of their biggest recruits in Lewis and 4-star cornerback Damarius McGhee. To be brutally honest, the Pruitt era looks more and more like a sinking ship every day. Lewis was the crown jewel of the class and looked like he was going to stick to his commitment despite plenty of other suitors. For him to reopen his recruitment is a scathing indictment of where this program is at right now. If Pruitt can’t get guys like this to stay on board, what exactly is he bringing to Tennessee football?

There is still a small chance Lewis re-commits to Tennessee. He even mentions the possibility in his tweet. But having covered recruiting for years, I can count on one hand how many recruits have said that and actually followed through on it. There’s a sliver of hope here for Tennessee, but for now it is best to assume that Lewis will not end up a Volunteer.

Tennessee’s class now ranks 13th nationally and 5th in the SEC, according to 247Sports Team Rankings.