April 17, 2024

Tennessee 2016 Signing Day Recap

The Volunteers will look to continue their climb back into the National Championship hunt with yet another exceptional recruiting class.

Photo by Kevan Elkins

Photo by Kevan Elkins

[title_box title=”Tennessee 2016 Signing Day Recap”]

College football fans’ Christmas in February, National Signing Day, has come and gone. The classes are now set, and Tennessee has yet again brought in a stellar group of players.

The Volunteers were already set to have a great 2016 recruiting class, but a huge signing day has made the class incredible. The Vols flipped Tyler Byrd and Latrell Williams, who were both originally committed to Miami.

Butch Jones once again showcased his brilliance as a recruiter by signing No. 1 JUCO prospect Jonathan Kongbo III, over Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss, and Southern California.

On top of that momentous signing, Jones and UT landed Nigel Warrior, a four-star safety from Georgia and the son of former Vol Dale Carter.

Those four players add to the deep talent pool that Tennessee now possesses. Kongbo figures to be an immediate force to be reckoned with along the defensive line. Warrior and Byrd will compete for playing time and possibly a starting position, and Williams gives Josh Dobbs one more weapon on offense.

Tennessee’s fantastic recruiting was not limited to just National Signing Day. The Vols were ranked as one of the top classes in the nation before today as well.

Fans expect big things from quarterback Jarrett Guarantano once Dobbs’ career is over. He should have weapons around him, as the offense became even more explosive with the commitments of Marquez Callaway, Jeff George, Brandon Johnson, and Corey Henderson.

Carlin Fils-aime also brings more depth to the offense, giving Tennessee yet another supremely talented running back. The offensive line improved with Ryan Johnson, Marcus Tatum, and Nathan Niehaus, all of whom figure to compete for playing time.

Mike DeBord’s offense will not just have more weapons at running back and receiver, however. It will also gain more fire power at the tight end position with the signings of Austin Pope and Devante Brooks.

The 2016 season looks to be a good one for the Vols’ offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, the recruiting was just as impressive. Kongbo, along with early enrollee Alexis Johnson at defensive tackle, bolster a defensive line that was already incredibly talented.

Jones locked down the No. 1 player in the state of Tennessee by signing outside linebacker Daniel Bituli, who will be joined at that position by Ja’Quain Blakely.

Tennessee signed five defensive backs in its recruiting class, the most of any position group. Early enrollees Marquill Osborne and Desmond Henderson, Baylen Buchanan, and Byrd will all be heavily involved in the competition for the second cornerback spot across from Cam Sutton. With turnover occurring at the safety position, Warrior may have the best opportunity out of all of them to start right away.

Jones has yet again proved why so many Tennessee fans have so much faith in him. He continues to pull in elite recruiting classes and continues to bring Tennessee closer and closer to prominence. All aboard the Tennessee hype train for 2016.

[table td1=”Rank” td2=”Player” td3=”Position”] [td1] 5-star [/td1] [td2] Jonathan Kongbo III [/td2] [td3] DE [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Jarrett Guarantano [/td2] [td3] QB [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Tyler Byrd [/td2] [td3] CB [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Nigel Warrior [/td2] [td3] S [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Marquez Callaway [/td2] [td3] ATH [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Marquill Osborne [/td2] [td3] CB [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Daniel Bituli [/td2] [td3] OLB [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Ryan Johnson [/td2] [td3] OT [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Carlin Fils-aime [/td2] [td3] RB [/td3] [td1] 4-star [/td1] [td2] Alexis Johnson [/td2] [td3] DT [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Latrell Williams [/td2] [td3] WR [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Jeff George [/td2] [td3] WR [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Desmond Henderson [/td2] [td3] CB [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Marcus Tatum [/td2] [td3] OT [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Brandon Johnson [/td2] [td3] WR [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Ja’Quain Blakely [/td2] [td3] OLB [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Corey Henderson [/td2] [td3] WR [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Austin Pope [/td2] [td3] TE [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Devante Brooks [/td2] [td3] TE [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Baylen Buchanan [/td2] [td3] CB [/td3] [td1] 3-star [/td1] [td2] Nathan Niehaus [/td2] [td3] OT [/td3] [/table]

Featured image by Kevan Elkins

Edited by Cody McClure

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Adam is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Tennessee Journalist and a Junior at UT. Most of his free time is spent watching sports, listening to good music, and enjoying life. If you wish to contact him, you can email him at amillike@vols.utk.edu, follow him on Twitter, @AdamMilliken14, or find him at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/adam-milliken/109/a89/a32.