Tennessee football goes back-to-back on commitments this weekend, as 3-star linebacker Jeremiah Telander announced his decision on Sunday afternoon.
Telander (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) hails from Gainesville, Georgia, where he has quite the list of accolades already. Telander was named the Region 7-AAA Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row, and has eclipsed 130 tackles in the past two seasons. He currently ranks as the 920th overall player and 74th linebacker, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Telander fits the mold as a high football IQ linebacker with middling athleticism that can be “hidden” in the middle of the defense. That seems super specific, but it’s not all that uncommon in college football. Telander’s tape shows impressive decision making, and he seems to always be in the right place at the right time, usually thanks to his own instincts. He keeps his eyes in the backfield and doesn’t just immediately go for the big play behind the line of scrimmage. He shows a lot of patience and good technique when attacking upfront.
What holds him back is the aforementioned athleticism. I don’t think he is a bad athlete by any means. But nothing really pops off the screen when you watch him play. His speed is not amazing, he doesn’t overwhelm guys with superior strength, he’s not overly quick, etc. He just plays sound, fundamental football that makes him a fit on so many teams across the country.
That could also explain why his offers differ from his rankings. His final four was Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, and Louisville. Not a bad group at all. His offer list in general boasts a lot of quality programs. I don’t claim to know how many of those offers were committable on the spot, but at the very least, teams were willing to keep in contact and see how he developed.
Telander’s commit comes on the heels of John Slaughter’s commitment on Saturday. Tennessee now has 12 commits in their 2023 class.