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3-star DL Amari McNeill commits to Tennessee

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He’s a tackle for now, but he wants to play defense at the next level.

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

A much needed reprieve from the decommitment news was granted to Tennessee football on Monday afternoon. 3-star lineman Amari McNeill out of Suwanee, Georgia announced his commitment to the Volunteers on Twitter.

McNeill is ranked as the 1173rd overall prospect nationally and the 103rd ranked offensive tackle, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

In an interview McNeill did with the Tennessee 247 site, he said he intends on playing defense at the next level. If so, there’s a good chance that McNeill got the green light shortly after Darrell Jackson decommitted from Tennessee early Monday morning. We examined that piece of news as well.

McNeill, like Jackson, is more of a project at this point in time. He has good size and moves well considering he’s already around 280 pounds. McNeill also loves to flex his raw power on run blocking. But he doesn’t look overly polished at this point. He prefers defense, yet his tape shows that offensive line is still very much an option in the future. McNeill’s ranking and short offer list might cause concern. That being said, a lot of gems in recruiting come out of the Georgia high school ranks. The field is so crowded, some kids are bound to go under the radar.

If Tennessee doesn’t expect many of their higher rated targets to pick them in the coming weeks, a move like this makes sense. They’re better off taking a high-ceiling prospect who could blow up into something bigger. At the same time, it is also cause for concern that Tennessee will likely not be an option for their remaining targets. That likely means the next couple of months will be about retaining their current commits and limiting the amount of flips/decommits.

Tennessee’s class now has 25 commitments and is ranked 14th nationally. That comes out to 5th in the conference.