The Tennessee Volunteers' impressive 2015 recruiting class is barely in the books, but head coach Butch Jones and the Vols' coaching staff are already keying in on bringing another top class to Knoxville in 2016.
Tennessee finished this recruiting season with a top-five haul of prospects by all accounts, but there's plenty more blue-chip athletes coming down the turnpike to Neyland Stadium. Here are five top Class of 2016 recruits you need to know heading into the long offseason ahead.
5. RB BJ Emmons
The only prospect on this list who isn't a hard commit to UT (yet), the 5-foot-11, 213-pound Morganton, NC native is a four-star talent with true five-star potential. The Vols are the early leader for Emmons' signature with Georgia trailing close behind. If he can provide a suitable encore to his eye-popping junior season at Freedom High (2,360 yards, 38 touchdowns), the Vols will have to stay diligent to keep him on track to Knoxville before next year's National Signing Day.
4. OT Ryan Johnson
The 6-foot-6, 275-pound commit unofficially visited campus for three games and an open practice this past season, so there's currently little doubt where the Brentwood, TN giant's loyalty lies. Johnson has been tabbed as one of the outside anchors for the Vols' offensive line in the coming years, with his frame and instincts likely to mean great things when he finally makes his way to Knoxville.
3. CB Marquill Osborne
Ranked as the #24 cornerback and #8 prospect in the state of North Carolina by 247Sports, the William A. Hough High School (Cornelius) standout and Tennessee commit just received a verbal offer from LSU this week. Despite a slight frame at 5-foot-11, 164 pounds, Osborne has the speed and on-the-ball smarts necessary to be a hot commodity amongst the top schools in the nation. Expect Tennessee to do everything short of throwing a parade to keep Osborne in-house over the next year.
2. DE/TE Devante Brooks
The four-star Washington D.C strong-side defensive end/tight end already has twelve offers in hand, with programs such as Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and Kentucky actively seeking a flip of the Vols commit. Don't get too worried, however. Brooks has openly professed that he's fallen "in love" with everything about the atmosphere surrounding the Tennessee program, and is likely a strong bet to come into UT as a (6-foot-5, 230 pound!) tight end in 2016.
1. QB Austin Kendall
Tennessee has offers in to six other pro-style QBs and six dual-threat signal callers, but the Vols already have one commit in hand with four-star Waxhaw (NC) Cuthbertson High School QB Austin Kendall. While this doesn't mean the Vols won't seek to build competition, Kendall and his impressive pocket presence is worthy of both his ranking as the #8 pro-style quarterback in the nation and of adding his name to Tennessee's storied legacy at the position.Back to the Tennessee Volunteers Newsfeed