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Updated with more information at 6:45 p.m. on May 3, 2020.

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Cody Brown

Tennessee moved into third behind Ohio State and North Carolina in the 247Sports.com team rankings for college football's 2021 signing class after receiving nonbinding pledges Sunday from four-star running back Cody Brown and three-star safety De'Shawn Rucker.

The 6-foot, 227-pound Brown, who plays at Parkview High School in the Atlanta suburb of Lilburn, is rated by 247Sports as the nation's No. 9 running back and the No. 124 prospect overall. He visited Tennessee in February and picked the Volunteers over Auburn.

Rucker is a 5-10, 170-pounder from Godby High School in Tallahassee, Florida, who is the nation's No. 32 safety and the No. 512 overall recruit. Those rankings may pale to recent Vols commitments and five-star talents such as Dylan Brooks and Terrence Lewis, but the tried-and-true judging method of the other teams that were interested has Rucker just as impressive as anyone.

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De'Shawn Rucker

In 2020 alone, Rucker received scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Miami and Oklahoma before deciding on Tennessee.

"Blessed," Rucker posted on Twitter along with a "GBO" (Go Big Orange) hashtag.

Tennessee now has 17 commitments for its 2021 class, including 15 from outside the Volunteer State. The two in-state pledges are Brentwood High School receiver Walker Merrill and Baylor School running back Elijah Howard.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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