Tennessee hit the jackpot on Thursday with the announcement that star linebacker Terrence Lewis has committed to play for the school starting in 2021.
Speaking to 247Sports' Andrew Ivins (h/t Ryan Callahan), Lewis announced he was picking the Volunteers over SEC powerhouse schools like LSU and Alabama.
"Tennessee is a beautiful place," he said. "I feel I can focus there and better my athletic ability and education there with a great class we about to put together. It's going to be something special in Knoxville."
A Florida native, Lewis has developed into one of the nation's top outside linebacker prospects. He's a 5-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 1 player at his position and No. 10 overall player in the 2021 class by 247Sports.
The scouting report for Lewis adds to the hype those rankings would suggest. This is what Charles Power of 247Sports wrote about the young linebacker's talent and potential:
"Instinctive as a run defender and blitzer with the ability to pick his way through the line and make tackles for loss. Has high-level closing speed and ability to chase plays down in pursuit. Also shows proficiency in coverage both in live games and 7-on-7 settings. Will need to continue adding bulk and strength as he is lean at this point in time. Projects as a multi-year starter at the Power 5 level with the upside of developing into an early round NFL Draft selection."
Playing on the edge helps Lewis' ability to impact games because he will be a disruptive force in pass-rushing situations. His instincts as a run defender will allow him to be a three-down player for the Vols.
Head coach Jeremy Pruitt is quietly putting together terrific recruiting classes that could eventually compete with programs like Alabama, LSU and Georgia atop the SEC.
Tennessee's 2020 class was ranked No. 10 overall by 247Sports composite rankings with 10 of 23 commitments rated as 4-star players.
It's still early in the 2021 recruiting cycle, but the Vols' class currently ranks No. 5 overall with 14 verbal commitments.
There's much work to be done for Pruitt to get his team where those other schools are, but he looks to have the Volunteers moving in the right direction.