Butch Jones has become a certified recruiting All-Star with this class, proving he won’t be anything close to a one-hit wonder.

It’ll be hard for him to promise immediate playing time even to five-star recruits starting next year, but a handful of true freshmen from the 2015 class should provide major contributions, starting with offensive tackle Jack Jones.

An early enrollee, he’ll have a chance to protect the blindside of QB Josh Dobbs and could help solidify the weak link on the ’14 Vols. Four-star WR Preston Williams (6-foot-4, 191 pounds) adds to an already-deep receiving corps. Community college transfer and one-time Alabama commitment Alvin Kamara, a four-star RB, should give Tennessee a three-pronged rushing attack along with Dobbs and Jalen Hurd.

But the real prizes of this class come in the front seven on defense with DT Kahlil McKenzie, DE Kyle Phillips and ILB Darrin Kirkland Jr. McKenzie is a consensus Top 10 player in the 2015 class, adding interior strength, while Phillips could contribute immediately to an already-dangerous pass rush with Curt Maggitt and Derek Barnett.

Most people assume this is the year the Vols vault back into the national conversation, but this class could take what should be a Top 25 team and turn it into a true national championship contender by next year.


Current commits or enrollees: 28 (avg. star: 3.5)
Remaining primary targets: OLB Quart’e Sapp, OT Patrick Allen, WR Camion Patrick
National/SEC rank: 4/2


6Kahlil McKenzie5DT6-3354
36Kyle Phillips4DE6-3.5250
48Preston Williams4WR6-4191
2*Alvin Kamara4RB5-10.5210
128Jack Jones4OT6-5290
163Darrin Kirkland Jr.4ILB6-1223
167Jauan Jennings4QB6-4188

*Junior college transfer