2022 four-star defensive tackle Alex VanSumeren recently de-committed from the Michigan Wolverines after being committed to the program for over a year.

VanSumeren, 6-foot-3/285 lbs from Essexville, MI (Garber), is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 16 defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 4 player in Michigan.

When VanSumeren committed to Michigan in late 2019, he wasn’t a heavily pursued recruit. At the time, the only other offers he had were from Central Michigan and Kentucky.

Now that VanSumeren has seen an uptick in his recruitment, he wants to take a step back and look at all his options.

“My recruitment is 100% open,” said VanSumeran to Rivals after de-committing from Michigan. “I’m hoping to find the place where I can achieve all of my personal, athletic, and academic goals.”

VanSumeren is a player that would make some sense for the Tennessee Vols, considering the strong Michigan connections on UT’s new coaching staff.

Vols defensive coordinator Tim Banks, who was recently hired by Tennessee, is a Detroit native who was Penn State’s primary recruiter in Michigan.

Penn State offered VanSumeren last April while Banks was on staff, so there’s likely some familiarity there.

Another connection to VanSumeren is Brian Jean-Mary, the former Michigan linebackers coach who is reportedly set to become the Vols’ linebackers coach under Banks and UT head coach Josh Heupel.

Jean-Mary wasn’t the primary recruiter for VanSumeren, but the two should at least be familiar with each other.

Another interesting connection here is VanSumeren’s older brother, Ben.

Ben VanSumeren recently announced his transfer from Michigan to Michigan State.

Part of the reason the older VanSumeren wanted to go to Michigan State is because the Spartans have an immediate need at linebacker .

“I understand there is an immediate need at LB and that’s exactly what I’m looking for,” said Ben VanSumeren to 247Sports this week.

(Jean-Mary, by the way, spoke highly of VanSumeren this past fall.)

Tennessee also has a need at linebacker (with Henry To’o To’o likely transferring after spring, and possibly Quavaris Crouch, too). The Vols would be wise to work their Michigan connection here and try to land both VanSumeren brothers.

Tennessee still has a couple of open spots left in their 2021 recruiting class (which is currently at 22 players), so they would have room for Ben VanSumeren (VanSumeren’s decision to transfer to Michigan State is nothing more than a commitment at this point).

The Vols need some depth at linebacker and they could certainly use the help at defensive tackle, too.

Tennessee can’t let their strong Michigan connection go to waste. They need to make the VanSumeren brothers a priority.

Featured image via 247Sports

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