By Dillon Taylor
De’Shawn Rucker, a native of Tallahassee, Florida, committed to Tennessee on Sunday afternoon following days of speculation regarding a potential commitment. Rucker brings great speed to the future of the Tennessee defensive backfield, as he has been clocked at 10.7 seconds in the 100m, and his speed definitely translates onto the field. Naturally, this speed brings an added weapon in the return game as well, and several clips on his tape show him bringing back both interceptions and kick returns for touchdowns.
It is common knowledge that this defensive staff loves versatility, especially from the defensive backs. At 5-10, 175lbs, Rucker fits in several positions for the Vols. Based on his conversations with the coaching staff, it sounds like he will start out at the STAR position under Derrick Ansley. Shawn Shamburger started at STAR for most of this last season, and with him entering his senior season in 2020, it will open up the possibility of some early playing time for Rucker.
While he is only rated as a 3-star for the time being, Rucker looks the type of prospect that sees their stocks rise over the course of their senior year. With an offer list that includes the likes of Clemson, Alabama, LSU, and his hometown Seminoles, it’s easy to see why he was so high on the wish list for Jeremy Pruitt and his staff. He becomes the 5th commit from a projected defensive back in this class, and brings just as much upside as anyone. He will need to add some size at the next level, but that shouldn’t be a struggle with likely new strength coach AJ Artis.
Rucker is rated right around the middle of this Vols 2021 class currently with 17 commitments and helps the Vols solidify their 3rd rated class. The Vols now have commitments from two 5-stars, four 4-stars and eleven 3-stars. They also currently sit only 1 point behind North Carolina for the No. 2 rated class, according to 247Sports.
The Vols seem to be the hottest team in the country right now on the recruiting trail and are on a tear that the recruiting industry hasn’t seen in quite some time, and the scary thing is, it looks like they may not be done. If this momentum continues, you could see at least a couple more commitments within the coming weeks.
4-star QB Kaidon Salter announces his commitment on May 10th, and the Vols look to be the favorite. He’s the next big scheduled announcement to look forward to. But, with the way this staff is recruiting right now, it wouldn’t surprise me to see another commit before then.