Tennessee's spring surge on the football recruiting front continued Tuesday afternoon when the Volunteers received a nonbinding pledge from four-star safety prospect Sylvester Smith of Munford, Alabama.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Smith is rated the nation's No. 11 safety and the No. 147 overall recruit on the 247Sports.com composite rankings. He is the fourth Vols commitment ranked among the nation's top 150, joining quarterback Nico Iamaleava (No. 6) of Long Beach, California, edge rusher Caleb Herring (No. 76) of Murfreesboro, and tight end Ethan Davis (No. 92) of Suwanee, Georgia.
Josh Heupel responded to Smith's commitment with another "GBO" post on Twitter.
Smith's first scholarship offer from a Power Five program came from Tennessee when Jeremy Pruitt was coach. When Pruitt was fired and Heupel hired in January 2021, the Vols fell out of the picture, but defensive coordinator Tim Banks wound up making multiple trips to Munford, and Smith has made three visits to Knoxville this year.
"It's a real family-oriented place," Smith told 247Sports. "I love Coach Heup. It was a football decision but also more than a football decision, because you have a life outside of football there, too."
Smith, the fourth commitment for Tennessee this month, wound up picking the Vols over Auburn, Georgia and LSU. The only top-150 signee the Vols had in their 2022 class was offensive lineman Addison Nichols (No. 142), a midyear enrollee who worked at center this spring.
Tennessee now has nine commitments for the 2023 signing cycle and ranks seventh in the 247Sports team standings.
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