It’s no secret that if the Tennessee Vols plan to finish with a highly rated 2021 recruiting class, then they have some work to do.

The Volunteers currently have the No. 2 rated class in the nation with 24 players committed, but their average player rating is similar to what it was last year (when UT finished with the No. 10 rated class in the nation).

Tennessee, however, is nowhere close to being finished with their 2021 class, which means some players who are currently committed probably won’t end up signing with the Vols.

The hope for UT is that some of the lower rated players jump ship and are replaced with higher rated players.

One of those higher rated players that Jeremy Pruitt and his staff are pursuing is five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, who recently included Tennessee in his top five.

Taylor, 6-foot-4/255 lbs from Miami, FL, is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 5 player in the state of Florida and the No. 3 defensive tackle in the nation.

Florida has been perceived as the favorite for Taylor, but Tennessee is lingering the background.

And that’s mostly thanks to Vols linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer.

“Coach Niedermeyer is real funny. Him and my mom have a really good connection. I’m always on the phone with him. He’s good people,” said Taylor recently to 247Sports.

Niedermeyer has proved to be an elite recruiter for Tennessee, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Vols become a major factor for Taylor.

Another reason Taylor is considering UT is because of the opportunity to play early.

“I seen how many people that got committed there, and with them, I got a chance to start as a freshman too. That’s what I want to do. I want to play right away,” explained Taylor.

The Florida native is planning announce his decision on early signing day in December, which means the Vols have plenty of time to make an impression on the elite defensive lineman.

If Tennessee has a solid 2020 season, and Niedermeyer continues building a strong relationship, the Volunteers could be a serious threat to land Taylor.

Featured image via 247Sports
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