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Freshman Feature: McCollough responds to increased reps in a big way

by | Oct 22, 2019

Before Jaylen McCollough stepped foot on campus, he was a fan favorite among fans of the Volunteers. McCollough was a huge recruiting win for Jeremy Pruitt’s staff when they beat out the likes of South Carolina and Alabama during the 2019 cycle. McCollough’s time is now on Rocky Top, and the true freshman from Powder Springs (GA) isn’t shying away from the bright lights.

McCollough’s final recruiting ranking left him as the number fifteen overall safety in the country. However, at one point and time, McCollough was rated as high as the 22nd overall prospect in the 2019 class. He played for one of the premier programs in 7A football in Georgia during his high school career, and has experience against elite talent.

McCollough was an early enrollee which put even more expectations on him coming into his career at Tennessee. The freshman was one of the more vocal leaders during his time recruiting other members to join the Vols 2019 class. His work ethic was on full display during the winter, then he came out and stole the show during the annual Orange and White Game when he intercepted two passes in his Neyland stadium debut.

McCollough was certain to get extra reps during the Alabama game after Trevon Flowers broke his leg against Mississippi State. The freshman was ready for his opportunity against the nation’s top team, and he answered the call.

McCollough made 4 tackles (2 solo) on Saturday against the nation’s number one team. However, his play of the game came on a perfectly timed safety blitzed. McCollough shot through the gap and unloaded on Mac Jones before he knew what him.

McCollough is a student of the game. He captained a Hillgrove defense that was among the best in the country last season. He was the unequivocal vocal leader and was quickly assumed to step into that role on the Tennessee defense.

His opportunity is now upon him for his freshman season. The freshman will see increased reps again this week as South Carolina brings a balanced offensive attack to Neyland Stadium on Saturday at 4 pm Est.

Matt Ray

Matt Ray

Recruiting Analyst

Matt Ray is the managing content editor for VR2. He founded VR2 in November of 2017. He is an FWAA Member and covers Tennessee prospects across the country from the Opening Regional Camp series to Under Armour All-American game and everything in between.

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