The University of Tennessee hasn't exactly had tons of success with the Volunteer State's top football prospect in recent years.
Perhaps Murfreesboro Riverdale edge rusher Caleb Herring will be the turning point.
The 6-foot-6, 206-pounder provided a nonbinding pledge to Josh Heupel's Vols on Tuesday, exclaiming "Committed!" on a Twitter post with an accompanying emoji of an orange heart. Heupel responded to Herring's announcement with a "GBO" post.
Herring racked up 66 tackles, 24 for loss, seven sacks and two interceptions as a Riverdale junior, and he is the nation's No. 76 overall prospect, the No. 8 edge rusher and the No. 1 recruit from Tennessee on the 247Sports.com composite rankings. The younger brother of Vols freshman linebacker Elijah Herring, who was a midyear enrollee, picked Tennessee over scholarship offers from Georgia, Miami, Penn State and Southern California.
Tennessee now has one five-star commitment (quarterback Nico Iamaleava from Long Beach, California) and two four-star pledges (Herring and tight end Ethan Davis from the Atlanta suburb of Suwanee) among its eight commitments for the 2023 signing cycle. The Vols also have commitments from three of the state's top-15 recruits after landing just one - Memphis receiver Cameron Miller - earlier this year in their 2022 class.
The addition of Herring bumped the Vols up to eighth in the 247Sports team rankings.
Ensworth safety Key Lawrence was the state's top prospect in 2020 and signed with the Vols, but he stayed just one season before transferring to Oklahoma. Knox Catholic offensive tackle Cade Mays picked Georgia over Tennessee during the 2018 signing cycle and played two seasons with the Bulldogs before transferring to Tennessee for his last two years.
The last time the state's top prospect selected Tennessee and played his entire career with the Vols was Jackson tackle Trey Smith, a 2017 signee.
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