'20 TN OLB Tamarion McDonald (UT SIGNEE)

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From Galilee on VQ...

Sitting at Whitehaven it is so hard to hold back tears. I am thinking about how TM worked so hard for this blessing. He spent so many hours overcoming the thoughts that he was not capable of receiving a scholarship. I am not talking about on the field, I am talking about in the classroom. If he never played a down of football UT will still be blessed having him as a student. This young man is very special to me because he will always give his all to Tennessee. If the coaches want to push his buttons to make him even greater, tell him he can’t do it. Vol fans get ready to see a young man that will make all of you proud.
 
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Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt isn’t sure exactly what position Tamarion McDonaldwill play for the Vols in the long run. After playing both linebacker and safety during his career at Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tenn., McDonald still has a large but relatively lean frame that could allow him to line up at any of a few different positions in Tennessee’s defense.

He should give the Vols options, if nothing else.
That’s one of the reasons Pruitt and his staff were excited to add McDonald, who joined two of his teammates and close friends — four-star linebackers Bryson Eason and Martavius French — in signing with Tennessee last month on the first day of the Early Signing Period.

Pruitt said on Early Signing Day that the Vols plan to give McDonald his first look at safety, although he primarily played linebacker during his senior season. “Tamarion McDonald is a guy that played, again, at Whitehaven there in Memphis, one of the Tennessee guys,” Pruitt said. “To me, this is a guy that he could play safety. He could play Star. He’s a guy, he’s 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. Big bone density. A guy that could possibly grow into a linebacker, but we’ll start him off at safety. He’ll be a phenomenal special-teams player because he’s a runner. He’s a hitter. Has really good ball skills, and he’s used to winning there.”

Tennessee listed McDonald at 6 feet 2 inches and 199 pounds after announcing his signing last month. But he told GoVols247 on Sunday that he’s currently 214 pounds.

Former Vols running backs coach David Johnson, who served as McDonald’s primary recruiter for Tennessee, said last month that McDonald “is probably one of the most versatile players that we have in this signing class.” “He actually played offense and defense, played a little tight end,” Johnson told VFL Films’ Kasey Funderburg last month. “He plays in the box — plays some linebacker — but he also plays on the back end, playing defensive back.

“What I call him is kind of like a quiet assassin. He’s the one you kind of forget about, but he has the upside. Really versatile player, really good player, and I think he’s going to do a great job for us.”
- 247
 

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