For the first time in a long time, Tennessee’s 2021 class got a little bit smaller. Nate Evans, a three-star cornerback commitment, announced that he has flipped to N.C. State.
Evans was one of the first commits of the 2021 Tennessee class, announcing his decision back in November 2019. Evans was a camp offer, who the staff liked enough to take his pledge. The main draw was his athleticism, as Evans could realistically play both sides of the ball at the next level. Tennessee wanted him at cornerback. Evans is a project, but one that the staff was initially ready to take on.
This decommitment is not too surprising. Tennessee’s class contains 23 commits, and rumors of “processing” certain recruits were beginning to run rampant. The Volunteers are still in good position for a number of recruits who are higher on their board than Evans (though not necessarily at his position). The fact that Evans doesn’t even mention Tennessee in his commitment note probably indicates that both parties knew the situation long before today.
For Tennessee, Evans’ commitment isn’t necessarily the biggest hit. The plan for him did not involve playing immediately.
That being said, the Volunteers are left with just two cornerback commits in a class where they need four. Those two are 4-star safety/cornerback Kamar Wilcoxson, and 3-star cornerback Jay Jones. Who Tennessee goes after for the rest of the 2021 cycle will be a key storyline to follow, since they haven’t had much traction so far with the top cornerbacks on their board. At some point it stops being a worry of talent, and a worry of numbers.
As a side note, Evans will not be the last decommit. As this class come together and the recruiting cycle goes on, there’s going to be more to come. Don’t draw too many drastic conclusions.