Walter Nolen, the No.1 ranked defensive player in the 2022 recruiting class, committed to Texas A&M Saturday.
Months ago, the 5-star DL was thought to be a long shot for the Vols, but then he transferred from Memphis to Knoxville to play his senior season at Powell. This move was interpreted as a good sign for then new Vols’ HC Josh Heupel and his DL coach Rodney Garner.
Tennessee’s defense has been much better than expected this season, with Garner’s DL leading that charge, but Nolen’s visited A&M numerous times and the Aggies seemingly withstood the push from the home-town Vols.
The Tennessee offense has put up tons of points, and the defense leads the country in a few key statistical categories (tackles for loss being one), but the Vols are still just 4-4 on the season with a bout against the 6-2 Kentucky Wildcats tonight.
Hepuel’s been on record recently about how the product on the field will sell itself to recruits, a degree, but the Vols currently have the the 32nd-ranked class nationally and the 12th-ranked class in the SEC, according to 247. Keeping Nolen in Knoxville would certainly have been quite the boost to this class.