Despite having just two months to put together a recruiting class that fits his program’s style, Jeremy Pruitt found a crown jewel right at the midway point. Now, that jewel is officially a Vol. JJ Peterson is one of the best defensive prospects in the country, an elite linebacker that gives Tennessee immediate linebacking depth and a potential breakout freshman.
247Sports ranks Peterson as the No. 48 overall prospect for the class of 2018, and also labels him as the No. 3 outside linebacker. Peterson saw a lot of attention from Pruitt and Alabama early in 2017, but didn’t see the same from Tennessee until after Pruitt was hired. He committed to the Vols almost a month ago to the day and has been a solid commitment ever since.
You probably noticed something off about Peterson’s film compared to his bio — most of his highlights are from offense or special teams. Though the highlights might not illustrate all his talents as a defensive player, it does highlight Peterson’s speed. As a linebacker, he has a return touchdown, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown on film.
On his few defensive highlights, his explosiveness either off the line or to the ball from the defensive backfield is impressive. He’s physical, fast and is going to work around any players(s) between he and the ball. With a strong summer and fall camp, Peterson could be one of the most exciting freshmen in Knoxville in the fall.