Tennessee’s 2020 recruiting class got a big addition with the commitment of 4* BJ Ojulari. If that name sounds familiar, look no further than his high school team. The Marietta High School DE/OLB is former teammates with both current Vol commit Harrison Bailey, and also current freshman Vol receiver Ramel Keyton. This recruitment had several different twists in these last few days, but the Vols won out. At the end of the day, Jeremy Pruitt got his man. Ojulari’s commitment moves the Vols class from around 29th in the nation to 22nd depending on which service you look at. For all those worried about the Vols class, that’s with only 14 commits and still several months until the early signing period.
The 6’4″ 220lb pass rusher will most likely fit Tennessee’s defensive scheme best as an OLB. As previously mentioned in my recruiting update from a couple of weeks ago, he’s got a long, athletic frame which will give him the ability to add weight without losing much quickness. For reference, just think back to when Vol linebacker Darrell Taylor arrived on campus back in 2015. Coaches loved his speed coming off the edge, but he needed to add more weight to be successful against SEC offensive tackles. So far, that has worked well for the Vols with Taylor being the SEC’s returning leader in sacks for this season.
This recruitment involved just about every top team in the SEC. LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida were the rest of his top teams that he decided from. Towards the end, this really seemed to be a LSU – Tennessee battle, especially within about the last two weeks. LSU’s pitch seemed to be pretty similar to Tennessee’s for how they would use Ojulari in their defense. That speaks to Tennessee’s staff for being able to beat out a team that has had more success these last few years, and for selling the vision of being able to get him to the NFL just as good as the Tigers. Now, the Vols will be even more loaded at LB for the long-haul.
With Ojulari now on board, the Vols have two highly rated teammates committed to help continue to sell the vision to other recruits. And luckily for the Vols, they won’t have to look far to find another top target. 5* Arik Gilbert is one of the Vols long-time top targets and getting him would add a big asset at WR, where the Vols will be needing help after this season. With Bailey, Keyton, and now Ojulari, expect peer recruiting to pick up for Gilbert, and many other Vol targets as well.
For a good look at what the Vols are getting, here’s the link to his highlights:
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