Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Today, we talk about 3-star tight end Jacob Warren, who made the next of several visits to Knoxville on Saturday.
In 2016, Tennessee had one of the most talented tight end duos in the country — Jason Croom and Ethan Wolf — with 41 catches for just under 500 yards. Next year figures to be similarly potent, with Wolf returning and senior Jakob Johnson right behind him.
But both players will be graduating after the season. So where does that leave the Vols’ tight end corps for the 2018 season? Eli Wolf, the younger brother of Ethan and a rising sophomore, is definitely in line to fill in at the top of the depth chart. But Tennessee’s No. 2 tight end, a position that has seen plenty of action in the past, could be coming from someone not yet on the roster and 3-star tight end Jacob Warren, son of former Vols’ offensive lineman James Warren, could be that guy.
“They’re losing Ethan, they’re Jakob Johnson and all those guys, so it’s like, they need somebody, just somebody to step up whether it’s somebody that’s there or potentially me if I were to go there,” Warren told SEC Country. “Obviously it’s going to be up to how hard I work and how much progress I make and everything. But they’re saying there’s a hole that needs to be filled and there is a possibility that I could fill that hole.”
Warren has been one of the Vols’ top targets since receiving his scholarship offer in early December. He fits Tennessee’s focus on in-state players, attending nearby Farragut High School in Knoxville, and has been on campus several times over the last year.
Those visits have become more frequent, with Warren making three short car trips to campus since March 23. The most recent of those visits came Saturday.
“It went well, ” Warren said. “I’m just looking for, like, how my relationship with the coaches, you know, [offensive coordinator Larry] Scott, coach [Butch] Jones, everybody, how they’re growing, how they’re building and see if our personalities are actually compatible with each other, you know, just kind of seeing how our relationships, even with like the players and stuff, how they progress as I’m there more often.”
The proximity that has allowed Warren to make so many visits is serving as a huge benefit to the Vols in Warren’s recruitment, particularly as they’ve made a huge in-state push for the Class of 2018.
“Any time I go somewhere else and we have any travel problems or something, they’re like, ‘You know, you won’t have those problems driving 20 minutes down the road,’” Warren said. “I think it’s definitely a recruiting perk for them, having me right down the street so I can pretty much just hop in my car whenever I want and get down there.”
Ranked the nation’s No. 31 tight end and the No. 29 prospect in Tennessee, Warren has also made visits to both Oregon and Vanderbilt over the past month. But as he confirmed to SEC Country, that will be it for a while on taking visits.
As the school year winds down, Warren will let the recruiting process move into the summer where he’ll attend camps and make any other visits before hopefully making his decision before his senior season begins.
“I think this summer I’m just going to kind of enjoy the process, go to my camps and go wherever I want to go,” Warren said. “I think I’ll be able to make a good decision by the end of summer, that’s what I’m shooting for right now, end of summer, early season.”
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