Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones and staff received their second bit of good news in less than a week with the announcement that four-star, in-state linebacker Daniel Bituli would be joining them in Knoxville in 2016. Bituli becomes the 13th member of the Vols’ 2016 recruiting class and the second verbal commit of the week for Tennessee. Cade Mays, a class of 2018 star offensive line prospect, also pledged his future services to the Volunteers on July 13.
Bituli made the announcement public via Twitter on Saturday.
He chose the Vols from an elite offer list which included such schools as Auburn, LSU, Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. In total, he has received scholarship offers reaching well into the double digits.
Bituli, a product of the Nashville Christian School, is ranked as the No. 1 high school prospect in the state of Tennessee for 2016. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound prep star also currently ranks as the 14th-best linebacker and No. 181 overall in the nation per 247 Sports.
The 2014 Tennessee All-Mid-State selection finished his junior season with 61 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
He also played sparingly at running back in 2014, primarily as a goal-line back, gaining 619 yards on 90 carries with 19 rushing touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2013, Bituli amassed 1,845 total yards and 28 touchdowns on offense. He has the tools to play on either side of the football, but his future with the Vols almost certainly lies on defense.
With the addition of Bituli, Tennessee’s 2016 recruiting class currently ranks 18th in the nation per the 247 Sports Composite Team Rankings.
— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. McVey is a diehard Tennessee Volunteers' fan who loves singing "Rocky Top" every opportunity he gets. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS