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. Check out previous editions here. In this edition, we discuss Tennessee and the recruitment of the tight end position.
Finished recruiting tight ends?
Tennessee picked up a commitment from Rome, Ga., tight end Sean Brown late Friday night, which likely signals the end of the Vols’ recruiting for that position. Brown joins Jackson Lowe as the other tight end commit of the Class of 2019.
Brown (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) and Lowe (6-5, 240 pounds) are a shift from the tight ends who have committed to Tennessee in the past few seasons. Offensive coordinator Tyson Helton will run a pro-style offense, which will require more blocking from tight ends.
This is why it is such a win for the Vols to have Brown and Lowe locked down so early. The tight end spot was a sneaky position of need in this class.
Tennessee tried to sign three tight ends in the 2018 class but only came up with two. In-state prospect Jacob Warren was originally a Butch Jones commit and fits more into the old model of a pass-catching tight end when he arrived on campus this spring. He spent some time at linebacker when the Jeremy Pruitt regime was shuffling players around.
“We’re trying to figure out, do we have any tight ends? I’m talking about tight ends that can block, not line up there and run pass patterns,” Pruitt said in one of his final press conference before the Orange and White game. “If we’re gonna run pass patterns, I’d rather put wide receivers out there.”
Tennessee immediately shifted its offensive and defensive philosophies when Pruitt and his staff arrived. For the most part, the staff has begun to value bigger, more physical players at every position. It’s why Brown and Lowe were targeted so early and made to feel like priorities, which led to early commitments.
Tennessee now holds six commitments and ranks as the No. 10 class in the SEC, according to the 247Sports composite. The tight end position is accounted for and the staff can focus on other positions of needs such as the line and secondary.
Brown and Lowe prove the staff has a certain vision for what kind of player will work in the system. They won’t stray far from the vision, either.
Tennessee’s staff will be watching closely as one of its top wide receiver targets will announce his decision this week. Marietta, Ga., native Ramel Keyton plans to make his announcement on Wednesday.
Announcing Wednesday ☺️
— Holiday 🏄🏾♂️ (@Wlmel10) May 13, 2018
I believe the Vols are in a good spot to land Keyton, barring a last-hour push from Auburn. Auburn very well might win the game later this season with Tennessee, but there’s no mistaking who is winning the recruiting battle, though.
Tennessee seems in line for Keyton after receiving commitments from Brown and Wanya Morris all in the past two weeks. The Tigers will have finished second with all three.
It’s fair to be skeptical about how Tennessee would fare on the recruiting trail early in Pruitt’s tenure against Alabama and Georgia. He’s proving he’s plenty up for the task of beating out the second-tier of SEC schools for top prospects.
Tennessee fans should mark their calendars for Wednesday. If the Vols land the 4-star Keyton, then Tennessee would be one of the hottest recruiting teams heading into the summer.
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