The Tennessee Volunteers received another boost to their 2015 recruiting class on Monday. Darrin Kirkland Jr., the nation’s No. 4 overall inside linebacker, announced his commitment to Tennessee and will enroll in January.

Kirkland is one of 12 defensive players in the Vols’ current class, which also includes two five-star prospects and eight four-stars, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Tennessee is expected to earn more commitments with several targets set to announce their decisions before the early enrollee deadline.


Tennessee has landed a coveted receiver in each of Butch Jones’ first three recruiting classes. Like Marquez North, Josh Malone and Von Pearson before him, Preston Williams is a touted pass catcher that ranks as a consensus five-star.

The Vols also struck gold with JUCO transfer Alvin Kamara. The Hutchinson C.C. standout transferred after a disappointing redshirt season at Alabama. Kamara is the No. 2 all-purpose JUCO back and a four-star prospect who rushed for 1,253 yards and 18 touchdowns, while catching 18 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns.

Offensive lineman Jack Jones, who committed in May 2013, has already signed early scholarship papers and plans to enroll in January. Jones is a two-time Tennessee Mr. Football Award winner and rates as a four-star prospect.


Kahlil McKenzie — son of former Tennessee linebacker Reggie McKenzie — ranks as the Vols’ top prospect. The 6-foot-4, 319-pound defensive tackle is the No. 10 overall prospect and the No. 2 defensive tackle for the 2015 class.

Shy Tuttle isn’t far behind, ranking as the No. 5 defensive tackle and the No. 1 player in North Carolina. The duo is expected to see early playing time with Jordan Williams’ departure and an inexperienced depth chart.

Micah Abernathy will also compete for playing time at cornerback. Following Justin Coleman’s departure, the four-star prospect could compete for a starting position once he enrolls.


Tennessee needs to improve its offensive line. Granted, a quick fix wasn’t the best option this past season, with many first-time starters seeing increased playing time. But the Vols need to bring in as many offensive linemen as possible before National Signing Day. Tennessee already has four linemen prospects committed, but could use more heading into February.