The top 8 Tennessee recruits who played better than their ranking this decade

It’s not just about the top prospects in the recruiting game. Less-heralded prospects can come through, as well, and Tennessee fans have seen plenty of examples in recent years.

Here’s a look at the top eight Tennessee players this decade who were rated three stars or lower in the 247Sports composite but went on to success for the Vols. The players are listed chronologically by when they signed.

MYCHAL RIVERA, by Randy Sartin/USA Today Sports

TE Mychal Rivera

The particulars: Three-star tight end (6-4, 250) from College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., in the 2010 class.
The skinny: A junior college transfer who originally signed with Oregon, Rivera wasn’t heavily pursued by SEC schools. Once he arrived in Knoxville, though, he put his pass-catching talents on display. He caught 29 passes in 2011 and really took off in 2012, breaking Jason Witten’s school record for tight end receiving yardage and earning first-team All-SEC honors. He’s since played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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