Barnett joining Big Orange Country?

Derek Barnett

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This weekend looks to be a pivotal one in recruiting for Tennessee and its 2014 class, which is now up to 22 strong after receiving yet another four-star commitment, the latest via from wide receiver Dominique Booth on Friday.

While there is much to be excited about with what first-year head coach Butch Jones and his staff has accomplished in not even a full year on the job, they will not lay off the gas pedal, especially this weekend.

In fact, they hope to reel in even a few more top recruits to their No. 1 class in the country this weekend, which is centered around the Vols' final two summer camps and Sunday's inaugural "Foundation Day."

One of those prospects that Tennessee has its sights set on is in-state defensive end Derek Barnett, who will play his senior year of high school football at Brentwood Academy.

The FOX Sports NEXT three-star lineman is being recruited primarily by Vol defensive line coach Steve Stripling and tight ends coach Mark Elder. Tennessee's need to add bulk along its defensive front makes Barnett an intriguing prospect.

"I'm listed as defensive end, but I can play tight end, right tackle, really anywhere," said Barnett, who spent the early portion of the summer at The Opening. "One of my strengths is that I can get off on the ball really well and get to wherever the ball is and make the play."

While he hasn't given away any hints as to where he will commit, Tennessee is one of the schools he is looking hard into.

"Tennessee is one of the schools I'm looking at right now," he said. "I don't have an official top five, but they are one of the schools that are really sticking out to me right now."

He also mentioned that former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley never recruited him, but since Jones took over the reigns it has been completely different.

"Dooley didn't recruit me at all, but Coach Jones has been recruiting me ever since he was at Cincinnati," he said. "Ever since they got here they have been recruiting me hard and have been coming after me."

If the Vols could land the big-time recruit the excitement in Knoxville will only continue to grow.

"The excitement is cool and some of my friends have already committed," he said. "If Tennessee can hold on to the No. 1 recruiting class in the country it would be really big for the program."

In his junior year playing for the Eagles, he recorded 52 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, six sacks and recovered three fumbles. The defensive lineman also competes for BA's basketball and track teams (shot-put and discus).

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