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3-star JUCO DE Byron Young signs with Tennessee

Signing day surprises are still very much in the cards.

NCAA Football: Florida at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee football once again made waves on Early Signing Day. This year, it’s thanks to their stunning pull of 3-star JUCO defensive end Byron Young.

Young is one of the best (if not the best) pass rushers in the 2021 JUCO cycle. His recruitment picked up steam late this year when big offers started to roll in. Young has adequate size (6-foot-3, 240 pounds) and his latest JUCO tape from Georgia Military College shows an impressive quickness for his weight. Even more exciting? Young has a great frame that hasn’t filled out yet.

When we say this was a shocker, we aren’t kidding. The latest murmurs in the recruiting industry were that Young was a near lock to Ole Miss. Some also believed he would wait until February to sign. It had been known for a while that he wanted to play in the SEC—but his interest in Tennessee specifically was never clear. As today’s announcement shows, he was sold enough to not just commit to Tennessee, but sign his Letter of Intent. That’s essentially two recruiting victories in a row.

Young’s signing helps solidify the defensive line in Tennessee’s 2021 class. They are still confident in signing their top commit and 4-star defensive end Dylan Brooks. Earlier today, they locked down 4-star defensive tackle Katron Evans. While two blue chips and a JUCO piece might not be elite, all these players fill a potential roster hole. In Young’s case, it never hurts to have pass rush ability from a player that’s ready to contribute immediately.

Tennessee has signed 15 of their 22 commits so far. There are still two more days left in the Early Signing Period, so expect that number to rise. There are still a handful of highly ranked recruits that Tennessee is in play for—meaning Young might not be the last firework we see.