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Josh Heupel reveals how Tennessee flipped Tyre West from Georgia

Nick Schultz12/17/21
Article written by:On3 imageNick Schultz


Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tennessee pulled off one of the National Signing Day stunners when it got four-star defensive lineman Tyre West to flip from Georgia to the Vols. Coach Josh Heupel talked about what went into the decision on Signing Day Wednesday.

As it turns out, Tennessee was in on West from the beginning of his recruitment. That was huge when it came time for Signing Day, even though he’d been committed to Georgia for over a year.

Heupel didn’t just have a connection with West, though. He knew his high school coach, which was an added bonus.

“His head coach, actually, is from Michigan originally,” Heupel told reporters. “I recruited his quarterback to Oklahoma and had a previous relationship with him, as well. So I think there was great trust in who we are and what we’re about and how we’re going to take care of the young man on and off the field and just help him grow into being a great person and great leader.

“Tyre’s got a ton of upside as a player, man. … I think Tyre and everyone that was around him just trusted who we were and that we were real in the things that we were saying, and had a great official visit with him and some of his family. Ultimately, he believed in Tennessee, he believed in the power of the team, he believed in the people that were here, that we’re going to help him navigate the road over the next three to four to five years.”

Four-star DL Tyre West flips from Georgia to Tennessee

West is the 89th overall player in the class of 2022, according to the On3 Consensus rankings. On Signing Day — after being committed to Georgia since 2020 — he announced that he is reopening his options.

“I opened up all my options to make sure if Georgia was the right spot for me,” West said.

There has been a recent influx of defensive linemen in the class of 2022 for Georgia. The Bulldogs flipped Mykel Williams — the 15th overall ranked player, according to the On3 Consensus — on Oct. 20.

The Consensus 40th ranked player Denton (Texas) IMG Academy, Bear Alexander, committed to Georgia on Oct. 21.

Georgia is also in the final four schools for four-star defensive lineman Christen Miller. Bulldogs are still among the finalist for Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace defensive lineman Shemar Stewart.

“I want to go somewhere where I’m needed, not wanted,” West said.

On3’s Jeremy Johnson contributed to this report.