It has been a rollercoaster ride for Tennessee Volunteer football fans Monday.
Just hours after learning Tennessee had missed out on IMG Academy (Florida) five-star offensive tackle Francis Mauigoa to the Miami Hurricanes, the Volunteers got some good news.
In fact, it may have been enough to erase the sting of losing Mauigoa.
247Sports five-star athlete Jonathan Echols, the nation's No. 5 overall prospect in the class of 2024, announced his commitment to Tennessee:
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound playmaker would likely be a five-star recruit as either an edge-rusher or tight end, but he primarily connected to Tennessee offensive coordinator tight end coach Alex Golesh during his recruitment.
“The first person I told was Coach Golesh,” Echols told 247Sports. “He loved it. Just wanted me to be a part of the family, wants to build the class around me.”
Although he's picked up offers from many of the nation's top programs, Echols quickly put an end to his recruitment after visiting Tennessee on a multi-day unofficial visit last weekend.
If Echols maintains his spot as the nation's No. 5 overall prospect, he'll be the fourth highest-rated pledge in Tennessee history, behind only Kansas running back Bryce Brown (2009), Georgia safety Eric Berry (2007) and California quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava (2023).
Here''s what 247Sports had to say about Echols in its scouting report:
"Kind of a scout’s dream. Long and quick. Initially graded out as an EDGE, but has some position ambiguity to him having gotten snaps at quarterback, tight end, linebacker and wide receiver over the years in addition to defensive end. Tested exceptionally well the winter after sophomore season, going 4.8 on the lasers in the 40-yard dash at roughly 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. Also posted a 4.5 in the short shuttle to go along with a 120-inch broad jump and a 34-inch vertical jump. Owns a slender build now, but should eventually add plenty of mass given dimensions (81-inch wing span and 10-inch hands). As a pass rusher, flashes not only a nice get-off, but also the ability to bend while running the corner. Seems to be the most comfortable firing out of a two-point stance, but does have experience putting his hand in the dirt. When it comes to his outlook as a pass catcher, has shown that he can pick up chunks of yardage once the ball is in his hands. However, must improve as a route runner if he’s going to consistently create separation on Saturdays. Will also need to learn how to anchor and find leverage if he’s ever going to be deployed as an in-line blocker. Should be viewed as one of the top overall prospects in the class of 2024 given his athletic profile and how he looked on defense in IMG’s 2022 spring scrimmage (totaled multiple sacks). Likely to find success as a slot tight end in a pass-happy spread offense, but ceiling is probably the highest as an edge rusher in a 3-4 front given his burst and length. NFL upside."
Sophomore season highlights