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Kaemen Marley

Tennessee and North Carolina have been the two early surprises in college football's 2021 recruiting cycle, and the Volunteers have delved into the Tar Heel State for their 23rd commitment.

Kaemen Marley, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound athlete prospect from Eastern Randolph High School in Ramseur is the latest recruit to give the Vols a nonbinding pledge. Marley, a four-star prospect who is the nation's No. 5 athlete and No. 146 overall recruit in the 247Sports.com composite rankings, picked Tennessee over UNC and Kentucky, and he also had scholarship offers in recent months from Georgia Tech, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Marley announced his decision via a Twitter video that contained the message "COMMITTED" with Neyland Stadium as the backdrop.

According to 247Sports, Marley amassed 814 receiving yards, 396 rushing yards and three interceptions as a junior at Eastern Randolph, which is 60 miles west of Raleigh. It is not known what position he would play in Knoxville, but 247Sports reported he has expressed an interest at receiver.

Marley is Tennessee's 21st out-of-state commitment in a collection that continues to rank second nationally behind Ohio State. Clemson, UNC and Southern California currently round out the top five.

For the past several years, 247Sports has ranked college assistants based on their recruiting successes, and Tennessee occupies the Southeastern Conference's top five spots for the 2021 cycle with defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, running backs coach Jay Graham, receivers coach Tee Martin, tight ends coach Joe Osovet and inside linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer.

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

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