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Tennessee releases KaTron Evans from NLI

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Tennessee v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Just when you thought the hits were finished for this Tennessee football roster, the Vols took another punch on Wednesday. Four-star signee KaTron Evans has been released from his National Letter of Intent today, removing another one of the top signings in the 2021 class. Evans signed with Tennessee back in December.

Per 247Sports, Evans was the 196th ranked prospect in the class of 2021. The 6-4, 320 prospect is the fourth member of the class to receive a release from his NLI.

Evans was a part of a mini Baltimore-to-Knoxville pipeline, following four-star defensive tackle Dominic Bailey and four-star linebacker Aaron Willis to Tennessee. Each of the three prospects attended St. Frances Academy.

Willis enrolled early at Tennessee, but has been suspended throughout the spring.

Tennessee has really good numbers at the defensive tackle position for this year. However, a good bit of those top contributors are returning seniors that will be gone after this season — Aubrey Solomon, Darel Middleton, Matthew Butler, LaTrell Bumphus and Ja’Quain Blakely. Tennessee will be doing quite a bit of churning at that position next offseason as they begin to mold more for what Tim Banks and Rodney Garner want there. That’s going to be a challenge, with at least five scholarship players leaving the program.

Losing Evans, a guy with legitimate length and size already as a freshman, certainly hurts. It’s something that won’t be felt immediately, but a future piece of the defensive puzzle is now gone.

Add defensive tackle to the growing list of pressing class of 2022 needs for Josh Heupel’s staff.