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Updated at 3:10 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

Signing day got a little sweeter for the Tennessee football staff when the Volunteers held on to elite linebacker JJ Peterson on Wednesday afternoon.

A four-star prospect according to 247Sports, Peterson is rated at as the 48th best player in the 2018 class. He signed with the Volunteers during a ceremony at Colquitt County High School in south Georgia just a few hours after the Vols were spurned by another elite linebacker from that region, Quay Walker.

Peterson, who had been committed to Tennessee for a month, was pursued heavily by Alabama as signing day approached.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, Peterson is the highest-rated player to sign with Tennessee from the 2018 recruiting class. He pulled an orange cap from beneath a table during the ceremony.

Just after Peterson announced his signing with the Volunteers, Olaijah Griffin committed to Southern California over Tennessee. Griffin, the third-best cornerback in the 2018 class, would have been a major addition for the Volunteers.Tennessee lost out on elite linebacker Quay Walker from south Georgia when Walker signed with Georgia at a ceremony at Crisp County High School late in the morning.

Walker first grabbed a Tennessee cap and then threw it to the side as he instead revealed that he was choosing the Bulldogs.

Walker had been committed to Alabama but was strongly considering Tennessee as well.

He is rated the second-best outside linebacker in the 2018 recruiting class and had the makings of a player who would have competed for immediate playing time with the Volunteers.

Instead, he becomes the latest high-profile addition to a Georgia recruiting class ranked first in the nation by 247Sports on Wednesday.

As the No. 31 overall prospect in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports, Walker would have been the highest-rated prospect in Tennessee's recruiting class.

TENNESSEE

WEDNESDAY SIGNEES

CB Brandon Davis

-5-11, 160, New Orleans, La. (John Curtis)

-Davis was not among the top couple of cornerbacks on Tennesse's board, but the three-star prospect will fill a hole at a position of need for the Vols.

LB JJ Peterson

-6-2, 231, Moultrie, Ga. (Colquitt County)

-Peterson spurned a late advance from Alabama to become one of the top prospects in Jeremy Pruitt's first signing class at Tennessee. Peterson appears to be capable of competing for immediate playing time in Tennessee's 3-4 defensive scheme.

DE John Mincey

-6-4, 255, Homerville, Ga. (Clinch County)

-Mincey chose the Volunteers over South Carolina after previously being committed to Missouri. Mincey is a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports. He was the first player to sign with the Vols on Wednesday.

S Trevon Flowers

-6-1, 185, Tucker, Ga. (Tucker)

-Flowers, a dual-sport athlete, who also plans to play baseball for the Vols, became the second signee of the day when he chose Tennessee over Clemson, among others. He was previously signed at Kentucky. Flowers is considered a three-star prospect by 247Sports.

WR Cedric Tillman 

-6-3, 205, Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman)

-Tillman did not have a long list of Division 1 offers, but he made it clear that he believes he can compete at the highest level of college football when he chose the Vols over Hawaii and Weber State, among others. Tillman is considered a three-star prospect by 247Sports.

CB Joseph Norwood

-6-1, 170, Chattanooga, TN. (Brainerd)

-Norwood is a late-blooming local product who did not play football during his junior year at Brainerd. He's a big-hitter, and though he has just three stars next to his name, Norwood's upside is clear. Tennessee's staff had him on campus last week and offered him a scholarhip on Wednesday as it seeks to replenish its cornerback depth.

DECEMBER SIGNEES

DE/LB Jordan Allen

-6-4, 230, Fairfield, Calif. (City College of San Francisco)

-A three-star recruit for both 247Sports.com and Rivals. Com, Allen became the third player from California to sign with the Volunteers on Wednesday night. The junior college defensive end has the body type to play as a bigger linebacker in new coach Jeremy Pruitt's 3-4 defensive scheme.

OL Tanner Antonutti

-6-5, 260, Nashville (Ensworth)

-Antonutti played some tight end in high school but is projected as an offensive tackle in college. A three-star recruit according to both 247Sports and Rivals, he is among a handful of in-state players who stayed loyal to the Volunteers through the coaching transition from Butch Jones to Pruitt.

RB Jeremy Banks

-6-2, 215, Cordova, Tenn. (Cordova)

-Banks is a four-star Rivals recruit and three-star 247Sports recruit who was not previously committed to Tennessee but chose the Vols over offers from several other major programs. He ran for more than 1,900 yards and 32 touchdowns this season.

P/K Paxton Brooks

-6-5, 170, West Columbia, S.C. (Airport)

-With the graduation of record-setting punter Trevor Daniel, the three-star recruit for 247Sports and Rivals figures to compete with Joe Doyle for the right to replace him. Brooks also kicked field goals and handled kickoffs in high school.

OL Jerome Carvin

-6-4, 330, Cordova, Tenn. (Cordova)

-A four-star recruit according to both 247Sports and Rivals, Carvin was among the group of players not previously committed to Tennessee who signed Wednesday. He wore a maroon jacket as he signed, but he pulled an orange Tennessee cap from underneath the table as he announced his decision to cheers from the crowd.

DT Greg Emerson

-6-3, 280, Jackson, Tenn. (North Side)

-Emerson is another in-state product who lasted through the Jones-to-Pruitt transition. He is ranked as one of the top 10 defensive tackle prospects in the class by both Rivals and 247Sports, and a four-star recruit for both. Emerson did not play as a high school senior in 2017 because of an injury. He chose Tennessee over offers from many of the nation's elite programs.

DT Kingston Harris

-6-4, 272, Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy)

-Harris, a three-star recruit for 247Sports and Rivals, just committed to Tennessee on Monday after visiting campus last weekend. He also had offers from Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers, among others.

OL Ollie Lane

-6-5, 285, Corryton, Tenn. (Gibbs)

-Lane, a three-star recruit according to both 247Sports and Rivals, starred at Gibbs High School near Knoxville. He is projected to be an interior offensive lineman. Lane committed last April and remained loyal to Tennessee through the coaching transition.

DT Brant Lawless

-6-3, 285, Nashville (Nashville Christian)

-The four-star recruit for 247Sports and Rivals stuck with the Vols through their coaching search and transition. He had scholarship offers from several other top programs, including Auburn, Florida and Georgia.

QB JT Shrout

-6-3, 190, Newhall, Calif. (William S. Hart)

-Shrout decommitted from California on Tuesday and signed with the Vols on Wednesday. The three-star recruit for both 247Sports and Rivals was a nice pick-up for Tennessee, considering a pair of quarterbacks decommitted after Pruitt took over.

TE Jacob Warren

-6-6, 211, Knoxville (Farragut)

-The three-star recruit, according to both 247Sports and Rivals, has been committed to the Vols since May. He will need to bulk up to play tight end at the college level, but his highlight reel shows a skilled athlete with the potential to become a playmaker.

TE Dominick Wood-Anderson

-6-5, 245, Spring Valley, Calif. (Arizona Western College)

-Wood-Anderson is rated as the top junior college tight end prospect in the 2018 class, according to 247Sports. That service rated him a four-star recruit, as did Rivals. He chose the Vols over Alabama after visiting Tennessee last weekend.

OL Jahmir Johnson

-6-5, 290, Philadelphia, Pa. (Arizona Western College)

-Johnson had offers from Arkanas, Arizona, Louisville, Missouri and Ole Miss, among others. He is considered the sixth-best junior college offensive tackle in the 2018 class.

WR Alontae Taylor

-6-0, 184, Manchester, TN. (Coffee County Central)

-Taylor is one of the best in-state playmakers of the 2018 signing class. He was committed under Butch Jones before re-opening his commitment and ultimately deciding he still wanted to be in Knoxville over offers from Georgia, Notre Dame and others.

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