Tennessee Football Recruiting: Vols announce 2016 class


The Tennessee Vols have welcomed a new crop of talented players to campus, announcing the 2016 Tennessee football recruiting class on National Signing Day.

Tennessee has made great strides in recent years under head coach Butch Jones, largely because of the great influx of talent Jones and his coaching staff have brought to Knoxville since 2013. Jones’ first class ranked No. 24 in the nation, but in 2014 and 2015 the Vols ranked No. 7 and No. 4, respectively. Understandably, the results on the field have also improved from 5-7 to 7-6 to 9-4.

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Following a solid campaign in 2015, and with one of the most experienced rosters in the SEC, the Vols are the likely front-runners to capture the program’s first division championship since 2007.

However, the Tennessee coaching staff hasn’t been able to sell recruits on immediate playing time nearly as much as they have over the past three seasons, and therefore, the overall talent level of the 2016 class is a notch below that of recent years. Plus, given the huge number of players Jones and company have brought to Knoxville (32 in 2014 and 29 in 2015), this year’s crop is much smaller as well.

Tennessee signed seven four-star players, including early enrollees Marquill Osborne and Alexis Johnson. Osborne, a 5-foot-11 cornerback, is one of three players ranked among the nation’s top 200 high school players, joining dual-threat quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and athlete Marquez Callaway.

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Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 277-pound defensive tackle, is one of three junior college transfers that are already on campus and will participate in spring practice.

The highlight of National Signing Day was the addition of four-star safety Nigel Warrior to begin the day and it wrapped with five-star JUCO recruit Jonathan Kongbo picking the Vols over USC and Ole Miss.

Complete 2016 Tennessee Football Recruiting Class:

Note: All rankings mentioned come from 247Sports unless otherwise noted.