Five-star quarterback Iamaleava commits to Vols over Alabama, Georgia, Miami and Oregon

Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com / Five-star quarterback Nico Iamaleava of Long Beach, California, committed Monday to Tennessee's 2023 signing class.

Tennessee had a five-star football day on the eve of spring practice starting.

Quarterback Nico Iamaleava of Long Beach, California, the nation's No. 7 overall prospect in the 2023 signing cycle according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, committed Monday to the Volunteers, giving Josh Heupel by far his biggest commitment during his nearly 14 months in Knoxville. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Iamaleava picked the Vols over scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Miami and Oregon.

Iamaleava posted, "Vol Nation, I'm here," on Twitter, and he released an Instagram video in which he said, "I will be committing to the University of Tennessee. Go Vol Nation."

Heupel responded to Iamaleava's announcement by posting the "GBO" hashtag on Twitter.

Iamaleava (pronounced EE-ah-mah-LEE-ah-vah) visited Knoxville last November for Tennessee's 45-21 defeat of Vanderbilt, and he returned earlier this month and attended the 78-74 basketball victory over Arkansas. During the hoop game, Vols fans started chanting, "We want Nico! We want Nico!" and they erupted when he stood up to acknowledge them.

Should Iamaleava follow through and sign, he would become Tennessee's first five-star quarterback since Casey Clausen in 2000 and James Banks in 2002.

The 2023 class is loaded with quarterbacks, with Iamaleava ranking behind Arch Manning of New Orleans, Malachi Nelson of Los Alamitos, California, and Dante Moore of Detroit. Nelson is a Southern California commitment, while Manning and Moore have yet to make their nonbinding pledges.

Iamaleava is Tennessee's fifth commitment for the 2023 cycle and the second from a top-100 prospect, with the first being tight end Ethan Davis (No. 96) from the Atlanta suburb of Suwanee. The Vols didn't have any top-100 signees in 2021 or 2022.

The addition of Iamaleava vaulted the Vols to 10th in the 247Sports.com team rankings for the 2023 cycle.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.