Arkansas got a two for one in Tennessee late Saturday night/early Sunday morning as they picked up two Class of 2020 commitments bringing their commitment total to 13 for the 2020 class.
Knoxville West teammates Drew Francis and Tyrece Edwards both committed to the Razorbacks as Francis committed late Saturday night and Edwards committed early Sunday morning.
“I’m so happy for these two young men as both are great football players but they are better young men. Arkansas has gotten two great players,” Knoxville West coach Lamar Brown said.
Francis (6-2, 200) chose Arkansas over his other finalist Purdue but also had offers from Arizona, Arkansas State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky.
As a junior, Francis made 89 tackles which included 18 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as well as blocking a field goal and a punt from his linebacker position.
“Drew has great instincts and is always around the football. He plays with relentless effort. Arkansas fans will instantly fall in love with him because of the way he plays,” Brown said.
*Edwards, a defensive end made 103 tackles which included six sacks and he also recovered a fumble as well for the Rebels in his junior season.
Edwards chose the Razorbacks over offers from Arizona, Coastal Carolina, Indiana, Liberty, Memphis, Missouri, MTSU, Tulane, UAB and Wake Forest.
“Tyrece is so explosive. His first step is as quick as I have seen in high school and he will be a big time play maker at the defensive end position,” Brown said.
Knoxville West is not the only school with teammates that committed recently as Pope John Paul II teammates Brooks Heagarty and Rory White can now concentrate on their senior seasons after making their college commitments recently.
Heagarty pledged his commitment to the University of Richmond while White verbally committed to the United States Air Force Academy.
“I am extremely proud of both of these young men. I think the first thing that comes to mind when looking at both of these guys is that they are both solid students in the classroom. We always talk to our kids about how a solid standing in the classroom will open the doors for so many more opportunities than strictly football alone,” JP II coach Justin Geisinger said.
“These two guys are proof of that. Football aside, they now both have given themself opportunities to earn college degrees at two very prestigious academic institutions.”
Both players were Division II-AAA East/Middle All Region selections in 2018 as Heagarty made 92 tackles including eight for loss as well as a sack, three interceptions and one touchdown on defense while also scoring four touchdowns from his tight end position.
White had his season cut short due to injury after just six games but still had a team leading 17 yards per catch.
*Heagarty (6-3, 220) chose the Spiders over four offers from the Ivy League in Brown, Columbia, Cornell and Dartmouth while other offers came from ETSU, Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown, SE Missouri State and Tennessee Tech.
“Brooks is a self-made player who has a lot of raw talent and ability but because of his drive and consistency in the weight room and he has put himself in this position to garner a lot of attention going into his senior year,” Geisinger said.
“While he has spent the majority of his time as a defensive player inside at linebacker for us, Richmond will use him as a tight end, a position he has been growing into in our offense as he improves as a blocker and provides a real threat as a natural pass catcher.”
*White (6-3, 200) comes from a military as both his parents served in the Marines and he chose the Falcons over offers from Columbia, Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri State.
“I believe Rory has been one of the more naturally gifted talents at the receiver position in this league for a couple of years now. Rory comes from a strong military family so it was not a surprise to us when he made the commitment to such a great school in Air Force. We look forward to a great senior year with Rory with his best football still ahead of him this year and beyond as he heads to Colorado Springs next Fall,” Geisinger said.
*Tennessee picked up their fifth instate commitment as Haywood athlete Darion Williamson committed to the Volunteers over an offer from Memphis.
Williamson (6-3, 195) is the 12th overall commitment for Tennessee in the Class of 2020 and joins Greeneville long snapper Will Albright, Knoxville Catholic center Cooper Mays, Ensworth safety Keshawn Lawrence and Maryville running back Tee Hodge as instate commitments.
Last season as Haywood finished as the Class 4A runner up, he had a good year at defensive back as he compiled 70 tackles including 10 tackles fo loss, intercepted four passes and recovered two fumbles while catching 10 passes for 150 yards at wide receiver on offense.
Tennessee will play him at wide receiver according to new Haywood coach Chris Smith.
“Tennessee is getting big rangy wide receiver that has a high ceiling and is a big playmaker. Darion is really explosive, will go up and get a ball and can accelerate in and out of his breaks and going to Tennessee is good for him because they can develop him and will definitely grow as a wide receiver,” Smith said.
So far the following 47 players who have already committed in the Class of 2020 they are: Knoxville Catholic offensive guard Bryn Tucker (Clemson), Mt. Juliet wide receiver Malik Bowen (Duke), Ravenwood offensive guard Graham Barton (Duke), Knoxville Catholic wide receiver Chancellor Bright (Marshall), Cocke County defensive end Stiles Moore (Western Michigan), Independence linebacker Chase Robertson (Princeton), Greeneville long snapper Will Albright (Tennessee), Meigs County quarterback Aaron Swafford (Navy), White Station offensive tackle Ray Curry Jr. (Missouri), Whitehaven linebacker Tamarious McDonald (Mississippi State), Maryville wide receiver Ashton Maples (Liberty), Maryville linebacker Mason Shelton (Coastal Carolina), Nolensville safety Tim Coutras (Liberty), Collierville defensive tackle Jared Dawson (Louisville), Ravenwood offensive lineman Luke Shouse (Ole Miss), Ensworth tight end Austin Henderson (Minnesota), Tennessee High tight end Nolan Wishon (ETSU), Nashville Overton offensive tackle Chris Washington (Miami, FL), BGA defensive back Garnett Hollis (Northwestern), Knoxville Catholic center Cooper Mays (Tennessee), Cane Ridge defensive tackle Michael Reese (Duke), Tyner wide receiver Jeremiah Baptiste (Miami, OH), BGA wide receiver Antonio Stevens (Purdue), South Doyle running back Elijah Young (Missouri), Ravenwood wide receiver Andrew Mason (Rice), Peabody athlete Jarel Dickson (Army), Ensworth safety Keshawn Lawrence (Tennessee), BGA quarterback Nick Semptimpheter (Bucknell), Trinity Christian athlete Kevin Davis (Miami, OH), Smyrna defensive tackle Dallas Walker (Texas A&M), East Nashville linebacker Tyler Fletcher (Western Michigan), McCallie athlete Deangelo Hardy (Kennesaw State), Oakland defensive back De’Arre McDonald (Ole Miss), Alcoa offensive tackle Brackston Alford (Memphis), Pearl Cohn long snapper Wesley Schelling (Vanderbilt), Maryville running back Tee Hodge (Tennessee), Greeneville linebacker Ty Youngblood (Furman), MUS defensive back Devonte Nelson (Memphis), Kirby defensive end Corbet Mims (Arkansas State), Nolensville linebacker C.J. Ware (Miami, OH), Goodpasture wide receiver Vincent Hamer (SE Missouri St), Ravenwood offensive tackle Gabriel Sleenhof (Yale), JP II linebacker Brooks Heagarty (Richmond), JP II wide receiver Rory White (Air Force), Haywood wide receiver Darion Williamson (Tennessee), Knoxville West linebacker Drew Francis (Arkansas) and Knoxville West defensive end Tyrece Edwards (Arkansas).
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