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Tennessee football recruiting under Josh Heupel: 2025 news, rankings, Vols players to watch by SEC insiders

The Tennessee Volunteers are heading into their fourth season under head coach Josh Heupel, who signed a contract extension last year that will keep him in Knoxville through 2029. He led the Vols to an 8-4 regular season in 2023 and capped it off with a 35-0 win over Iowa in the Citrus Bowl to earn the No. 21 spot in the final College Football Playoff rankings. Their momentum under Heupel has led to significant Tennessee football recruiting news since the season ended, as the Vols are in the mix for multiple high-level recruits in the 2025 class. Several of the top prospects in the country were in Las Vegas for Nike’s “The Next One’s” event earlier this month and the Tennessee Vols are recruiting several of those players. 

Tennessee finished with the No. 13 recruiting class for 2024, according to the 247Sports rankings. The Vols are off to a strong start for the 2025 cycle, ranked No. 10 overall with one 5-star and one 4-star among their six commits. If you want to see the latest Tennessee recruiting news, you should join GoVols247, the 247Sports affiliate that covers the Tennessee Vols.

The GoVols247 team of Patrick Brown, Wes Rucker, Ryan Callahan and Ben McKee have decades of experience covering the Vols. Callahan has a history of breaking massive recruiting news, while Brown, Rucker and McKee are locked in on all the latest team news. Hundreds of thousands of Tennessee fans follow them on social media and their Tennessee coverage is read by millions. They’ll keep you locked in on everything happening in Tennessee athletics and provide you with premium updates you won’t find anywhere else. It’s all available at your fingertips on any device here.

The team at GoVols247 has extensive coverage of Tennessee’s recruiting efforts, including information about a pair of four-star players who are being recruited by Heupel’s staff. Head to GoVols247 and join now to see who they are and how they could change the face of Tennessee football.

Josh Heupel Tennessee recruiting updates

One player from the 2025 class that Heupel’s staff is targeting in is four-star linebacker Dante McClellan. The Canton, Ohio, native announced his top eight college choices earlier this week, and Tennessee is one of the top SEC schools in the mix. McClellan first visited Rocky Top in October after receiving a scholarship offer in August. 

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound linebacker has received offer from more than 20 schools, including all eight schools that he said are in the running for him. He is the No. 31 linebacker in the 247Sports Composite rankings for 2025, and he is the No. 11 player in Ohio for his class. McClellan plans to announce his commitment near the end of the summer. Join GoVols247 for the latest on McClellan’s recruitment.

Another player that Tennessee’s staff is interested in for 2025 is three-star defensive back Sidney Walton. Tennessee has already hosted Walton for multiple visits, beginning with the Vols’ home opener against Austin Peay last season. He returned for games against Texas A&M in October and Georgia in November before attending junior day earlier this month. 

Walton is the No. 61 safety in the 2025 class and the No. 35 junior from Alabama. He has received offers from at least 14 schools, including Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri. The Vols and Wildcats have been recruiting him the longest among SEC programs, but he also has plans to visit another team’s junior day within the conference. Join GoVols247 to read the latest VIP article regarding Walton’s travel plans.

How to get Tennessee 247Sports updates 

The Vols are also pursuing a four-star wide receiver for the 2025 cycle, who has narrowed his focus to two SEC schools. Join GoVols247 to see who it is and get all the latest Tennessee football news.  

Who are the top players for 2025 that Tennessee’s coaching staff is targeting right now, and which four-star wide receiver could change the game? Join GoVols247 to see all the latest Tennessee recruiting news, all from a team of reporters with decades of experience covering the Vols, and find out.  

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