For most, recruiting was at the top of the concerns list when Tennessee hired Josh Heupel. The offensive wiz isn’t exactly dripping with SEC ties, and some were concerned that he wouldn’t be able to keep up on the trail with the south’s elite schools.
So far in the 2023 class, he and his staff are proving doubters wrong.
Tennessee landed their second five-star prospect on Sunday afternoon, snagging defensive end Chandavian Bradley out of Missouri. Bradley is the 36th overall player in the class, and gives the Volunteers another impact player on the edge.
Tennessee followed that up by landing longtime three-star prospect Jalen Smith, another top 500 prospect, to fill a numbers need at linebacker.
All of this follows the addition of four-star tackle Shamurad Umarov and four-star athlete Cameron Seldon to close out last week. Umarov fills a big need at tackle, while Seldon is going to give Josh Heupel an explosive hybrid type player to move all around his offensive attack.
Tennessee is now up to 18 commitments in their 2023 class. Of course, the group is led by No. 3 overall player Nico Iamaleava, who kicked off all of this momentum after committing to the Volunteers this spring.
Following the additions of Bradley, Seldon, Smith and Umarov, Tennessee has jumped up to 5th overall in the 247Sports class rankings. They now own the SEC’s highest ranked class, jumping past Georgia and Arkansas.
Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson and Texas are now the only teams ahead of the Volunteers. Heupel’s first class at Tennessee ended up 23rd overall, for reference.
It’s obviously early — Georgia only has 13 commitments while Alabama has just ten. But Tennessee now has multiple foundational pieces in place on both sides of the ball before the fall even begins. We’re sure to have some movement in and out of the class, but Tennessee is already set up nicely for December.