Junior star Amira Collins gives verbal commitment to Tennessee

Junior post player Amira Collins has grown accustomed to winning at Virginia's Paul VI Catholic High School. Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire

Just last month, Tennessee was sky-high celebrating the signatures of four elite prospects and landing the No. 1 2017 recruiting class in the nation.

The 2016 team, though, has lost three of its past four games, including an 88-66 setback to Baylor in Knoxville on Sunday. The Lady Vols stand at 4-3 and on Monday fell out of The Associated Press Top 25 women's basketball poll.

More help for the future is on the way.

Amira Collins, a 6-foot-3 post player at Paul VI Catholic High School (Fairfax, Virginia) and the No. 27 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Super 60 for the 2018 class, on Wednesday gave a verbal commitment to coach Holly Warlick and the Lady Vols.

"Tennessee has recruited me since my freshman year, specifically coach Jolette Law," Collins said. "The entire staff made me feel welcome, and Tennessee is what I have always dreamed of in a school."

Collins will bring size, versatility and, notably, a history of winning to Knoxville. As a sophomore at Paul VI, Collins won a Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship and a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. Paul VI is expected to be ranked among the nation's top high school teams when the first espnW 25 Power Rankings for the 2016-17 season are released next week.

"She runs the floor like no other," said Ron James, Collins' AAU coach with Team Takeover. "She runs with the guards and wings. She has the versatility to play inside and out.

"And she has that motor that allows her to work to constantly try to get better."

Collins also considered Penn State, UCLA, West Virginia, Louisville and Maryland, where her brother is a defensive back on the football team.

"I wanted to explore all of my options," Collins said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity that each program gave me."

Collins is the first commitment for Tennessee from the 2018 class. The Lady Vols' 2017 signees are No. 2 Evina Westbrook, No. 9 Anastasia Hayes, No. 12 Rennia Davis and No. 55 Kasiyahna Kushkituah.