KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Larry Scott’s promotion to Tennessee offensive coordinator should be good news for the position group he coaches, the tight ends.
At least, that’s what rising senior tight end Ethan Wolf is hoping, as he would figure to benefit more than anyone.
“I know he does like to throw the ball to the tight end, based on his track record,” Wolf said of Scott, who played offensive tackle at South Florida. “We’re gonna do whatever we can if he throws us the ball.”
Tennessee Football TE Overview
The Vols are counting on the tight ends as they break in two new quarterbacks competing to start this season.
Tight ends are most often a popular target for inexperienced quarterbacks who might not get through their progressions as quickly as the more experienced ones.
Tennessee’s reliance on tight ends might also be increased by the Vols’ lack of experience at receiver, and a strong offensive line that could lead to more run plays and thus, more run sets.
Butch Jones’ offense has shown a double tight end look before.
Tennessee Football TE By The Numbers
The Vols’ tight ends combined for 45 catches last season
Departed senior Jason Croom accounted for nearly half of those catches (21), while Ethan Wolf also had 21 catches last season.
Jakob Johnson was next in line with two catches last season, and Eli Wolf had one catch.
Tennessee Football TE Moving Forward
Ethan Wolfe said his goal is to not drop any passes in spring drills after a 2016 season where he had his fair share.
The 6-foot-6 Wolf has gained 10 pounds (now 255) and does indeed look the part.
Johnson (6-3, 250) has also looked impressive in early spring drills. Eli Wolfe — Ethan’s younger brother — appears to be in the mix for repetitions, as well.
Austin Pope and Andrew Craig are redshirt freshmen local products both fighting to get on the field and contribute this season.
Tennessee Football TE Standout Performer
Ethan Wolfe is in the driver’s seat, and if he’s as consistent as he’s aiming to be — not dropping passes — he could be in line for a 40-catch, 6-touchdown season.
Projected depth chart:
Ethan Wolfe (6-6, 255, Sr.)
Jakob Johnson (6-3, 250, Sr.)
Eli Wolfe (6-4, 225, RS. So.)
Austin Pope (6-4, 230, RS Fr.)
Andrew Craig (6-5, 245, RS Fr.)