Tennessee Recruiting: Tight Ends? Check. Vols Sew Up Position with Sean Brown Commitment

The Tennessee Vols got some anticipated excellent news on Friday night when Coosa, Georgia, tight end Sean Brown decided to end the recruiting process and commit.

The 6’5″, 245-pound 3-star prospect chose UT over other finalist Auburn. He boasted 16 offers total, including LSU, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Purdue, N.C. State and others. Though the Tigers from the Plains seemed to hold an advantage for a while, Brown visited Knoxville earlier this spring, fell in love with the message Jeremy Pruitt was peddling and knew he wanted to be a Vol.

The rest was just details.

Brown wound up committing to Tennessee and joining Cartersville native Jackson Lowe as the Vols’ duo of tight ends in this year’s class. They’re the top two guys UT went after, and emerging ace recruiter Brian Niedermeyer is responsible for both of those guys. Brown’s offer sheet doesn’t match his pedestrian ranking, as he is currently the No. 957 player nationally according to the 247Sports Composite rankings and the No. 37 tight end.

He’ll join Lowe for a formidable duo that can do a lot of things at the tight end position, a spot that looked problematic from a talent perspective this spring. Though depth isn’t an issue, it’s a matter of finding players who can make an impact in the SEC. Right now, it’s uncertain if anybody can do that.

This spring, walk-on Eli Wolf and redshirt freshman Austin Pope got many of the reps. Freshman Jacob Warren needs to add a lot of weight and show more physicality to be a force in the rotation. The Vols got exceptional news this week when reports surfaced that the nation’s No. 1-ranked JUCO tight end, Dominick Wood-Anderson, qualified and is set to arrive in Knoxville soon. Wood-Anderson chose UT over Alabama and a host of other schools and should vie immediately for playing time, if not starting reps.

But versatility shouldn’t be an issue at the position in the future, especially if Wood-Anderson can give the Vols two solid years and UT can wind up signing Lowe and Brown. Both players are physical prospects who are good blockers, can play in-line and also catch the ball on the perimeter. Neither are burners, but they’re exactly the kind of tight ends that offensive coordinator Tyson Helton wants in his pro-style scheme.

That scheme, a lot of times, calls for two-tight end sets, and Brown and Lowe have a good rapport and should find themselves on the field together a lot in future scenarios.

The Vols swooped into North Georgia to fortify the position, and they zeroed in on those two guys as the primary targets at a major position of need. Brown told VolQuest.com’s Jesse Simonton that running track has kept him in great shape, and UT sees him as an all-around tight end. He went in-depth with Simonton in an interview posted tonight.

 

Brown knows Pruitt’s style from watching him at Alabama, a team he’s been rooting for. He told GoVols247’s Ryan Callahan that he wanted to be a part of rebuilding the Vols and knows that Pruitt and his staff are going to get it done.

Niedermeyer is flat-out getting it done on the trail. Though he may be UT’s least-known assistant, he’s proving adept at landing prospects. His name is prominently mentioned with the Vols’ two highest-profile targets as well — offensive lineman Darnell Wright and running back/outside linebacker Quavarius Crouch. If he can land one (or both) of those guys, his star will continue to rise.

Brown is his latest big coup. He’s UT’s sixth known commitment in the 2019 class, and his pledge marks the second straight time the Vols beat out Auburn for an important target. Offensive lineman Wanya Morris also had AU as a finalist, and, next week, 4-star receiver Ramel Keyton will choose between the Vols and Tigers. UT feels good about its positioning in that race, too.

The Tigers did beat out UT (and Georgia) for stud outside linebacker Owen Pappoe, but Pruitt and Co. are holding their own against the Plainsmen. Those are the types of battles you need to win to pull down big-time classes. The Vols aren’t there yet, as this class ranks 31st currently and 10th in the SEC, but it’s only beginning.

Brown isn’t going to do a ton to surge UT up the rankings, but that doesn’t matter. He’s a guy this staff believes should be one of the top two tight ends on their big board, and they went out and got both of those. That’s huge.

On film, Brown’s pass-catching abilities don’t flash, which actually isn’t a bad thing considering in all the commitment stories, his coach talks about that part of his game really coming on recently. His big hands should be an attribute on the next level. But what really looks good is his physicality and athleticism, and playing both ways (as most high school kids do) will help him, as will running track. This is really a kid that’s only now beginning to realize his potential, and once he gets into a college program, he can really take off.

Will he be able to come in and help immediately in 2019? That depends on how he develops over the course of the next year. But he has that ability because his body already is in the right shape, and he has the type of frame that can add 15-20 extra pounds with no trouble. He’s a very projectable prospect who can split out or play inside and block. Brown has a high ceiling and should only continue to rise in the rankings.

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