Defensive end Dorian Gerald committed to the Tennessee Volunteers on Thursday, announcing his decision on Twitter.
Dorian Gerald @TopNotchDG
I'm committed 🍊 #GBO #VolNation #DOM1N8 https://t.co/UEvJnwUU912017-7-6 20:23:48
"You don't know how much I've prayed on it," Gerald said of his commitment, per Austin Price of VolQuest.com. "I just asked God to give me a sign and everything points Tennessee to me. My family thinks I should go with my heart and that's where God leads me. It's just like home up there. I couldn't tell the difference in my family. They were happy and that is everything to me."
Scout considers Gerald a 4-star recruit at defensive end.
Gerald finished with 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a freshman for College of the Canyons.
He's the second defensive end to commit to Tennessee, joining Greg Emerson, who ranks eighth among high schoolers at the position, per Scout.
VolQuest.com's Jesse Simonton praised the work of Volunteers head coach Butch Jones and his coaching staff with regard to bolstering the defensive line:
Jesse Simonton @JesseReSimonton
It's all about the trenches in the SEC, and #Vols DL haul this cycle is 🍌. Lawless. Litaker. Chatman. Emerson. And now Gerald. Mercy.2017-7-6 20:40:53
Last season, Tennessee's defensive line ranked 27th nationally in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. The team has to replace Derek Barnett and Corey Vereen, who ranked first and second on the team in sacks in 2016. This time next year, the Vols will also be replacing defensive tackle Kendal Vickers, who had 2.5 sacks and six tackles for loss as a junior.
Together, Gerald and Emerson will help Tennessee's pass rush remain one of the best in the SEC. Gerald in particular should make an immediate impact on the Vols when he arrives in 2018 considering how well he performed in his first year with College of the Canyons.