Tennessee continues to stockpile top-tier talent, establishing one of the best 2014 recruiting classes in the country. The Volunteers created a verbal pact with 4-star defensive end Dewayne Hendrix on Sunday, per nooga.com, providing head coach Butch Jones with one of the nation's premier pass-rushers.
Hendrix, a 4-star prospect at O'Fallon High School (Ill.), spent the past weekend on an unofficial visit at Missouri. He watched the Tigers fall to SEC foe South Carolina in double overtime.
His first official visit took him to Knoxville on Oct. 5, when he saw Tennessee take on Georgia. Hendrix also spent time at Southern California this summer, according to 247Sports.
His offer sheet features Florida, Kansas, Penn State, Ole Miss and Ohio State.
The 6'5", 255-pound defender is a monstrous backfield disruptor who displays a relentless motor. He sheds blockers with a blend of impressive moves and a strong launch at the point of attack.
Hendrix fires off the ball, but doesn't get tunnel vision by focusing on the quarterback. He has impressive peripheral awareness and uses lateral quickness to make up ground in a hurry.
247Sports composite rankings slot Hendrix as the nation's No. 8 strong-side defensive end and Illinois' No. 5 overall prospect. He tallied 60 tackles, including 12 for loss, and four sacks during his junior season.
It may take Hendrix some time to work his way into Tennessee's defensive rotation, but he has the skill set of an every-down bookend on the front line. Run defense is likely to remain his strong point at the next level.
The Volunteers will have holes to fill along the line next year. Seniors Marlon Walls, Jacques Smith and Corey Miller must be replaced. Tennessee is expected to bring back a solid stable of talent, including Corey Vereen, LaTroy Lewis and Jordan Williams.
Hendrix's commitment brings Tennessee's 2014 recruiting class total to 28 players. The group ranks second nationally, according to 247Sports.
The Volunteers hold commitments from a variety of talented defensive ends. Hendrix joins an excellent crop that includes DaVonte Lambert (Waynesboro, Ga.), Derek Barnett (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Joe Henderson (Cleveland, Ohio).