KNOXVILLE – With much of the recruiting attention on 2014, Tennessee made a surprising move on Friday evening to add to the 2013 signing class.
Defensive end Kendal Vickers, who originally committed to South Carolina, announced via Twitter that he will sign with Tennessee and is expected to enroll this summer.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound native of Havelock, N.C., committed to the Gamecocks in November, but was not included when South Carolina announced its official list of signees on signing day in February. The problem was related to academics. South Carolina believed Vickers wouldn’t fully qualify out of high school and would have to go to a junior college or prep school.
Vickers, who had offers from South Carolina, East Carolina and North Carolina, proved that wrong this spring. After a strong semester in the classroom, he’s fully qualified for a four-year college and has now decided to enroll at Tennessee.
Tennessee will lose three experienced senior defensive ends after next season – Marlon Walls, Jacques Smith and Corey Miller. The Vols will return LaTroy Lewis and Jordan Williams in 2014, while Corey Vereen, Jason Carr, Malik Brown and Jaylen Miller are defensive ends who signed in the 2013 class.
“With some experience on the defensive line could also potentially be a solid run defender,” ESPN.com wrote in a scouting report of Vickers. “Flashing the ability to use his hands and be able to take on blockers and hold his ground. Flashes the tools to be a solid power rusher with the ability to create leverage with his hands and knock blockers out of their cylinder.
“Will need to watch pad level and work to improve flexibility. Vickers comes across as a tough kid who gives good effort. Needs to keep developing and could contribute on either side of the ball, but likely more in a situational role.”
Click HERE for more information on Tennessee’s 2013 signing class.
ESPN.com: 2-star; 123rd best DE in the nation
Scout.com: 2-star; 195th best DE in the nation
247Sports: 2-star; 98th best DE in the nation
247Sports Composite: 3-star; 84th best DE in the nation
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga