Max's take on Weyman to Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee - Do you believe in Santa Claus? Do you remember when your mom and dad put those wonderful gifts under the Christmas Tree? Yeah, there is nothing like a free gift on Christmas. Well, on Thursday, that's just what the Tennessee Vol Nation got, when one of my National Top 150 All-American picks, QB Brett Weyman, committed to Tennessee, as a preferred walk-on. Not since Kelley Washington, have the Vols received such a free gift.

Who would have thought that the biggest name, the Vols would have committed, this year at quarterback, would come from a walk-on. An All-American walk-on, at that. But in Brett Weyman, this is what they actually have. A real prospect for the job, who is known coast to coast for his athleticism, his arm and his promise. In the final recruiting hour, he was won over by Tennessee.

And win they did. There were at least 7 other, major programs wooing this athletic quarterback from Charleston, South Carolina, who has limited experience, but, a huge unbelievable upside. A quarterback who slipped through the recruiting crack for a variety of unsolved mysteries. But, still, he was a player perceived to have all the tools to succeed in a high D-1 program. Those who were in the hunt for him, up until the last hour, included, Louisiana Tech, Alabama, South Carolina, Maryland, Arizona, Boston College, and Tennessee. Weyman made an official visit to Louisiana Tech on March 21 and he was very interested in their passing attack which threw 600 passes last season. He als was very impressed with Coach Jack Bicknell and his coaching staff.

In savoring their prize, the Vols chat rooms now are all a buzz about their surprise recruiting victory, in the 12th hour. "Hey he's a real stud, he ran the shuttle out at the Stanford Nike Camp faster than Ernie Simms, for god's sake," said one Vol Fan. Another one said, "I'll take faster than Simms, yeah I'll take another Kelley any day." And yet another, "Chris who? Brett can out run him, out throw him, and just out big him." And finally, "Brett looks fantastic. He's a man among boys, as a high school quarterback."

So, the Vols, who had once thought that they were going to land the best quarterback, in the country in Chris Leak here, in the end, they land, the biggest prized preferred walk-on, in Brett Weyman. And, with Weyman, the Vols will be pleasantly surprised, because they got a similar caliber player. He's cast from a different mold, that's all. Yes, what a difference, these two players are. And what a difference the Vol program would be under either one of them.

Chris Leak the super star; Brett Weyman the respectful underdog. Chris Leak, small, but compact in stature, and with huge numbers; Brett Weyman, the big specimen athlete, who only had 173 attempts in his two year high school career. Chris Leak, wanted to run the show at Tennessee; Brett Weyman, who just asked for a chance to play. Chris Leak, who carries himself in a heady, contemporary manner, the likes of a Shawn King, or a Kordell Stewart; Brett Weyman, who is self assured and laid back, in the conservative, but confident manner of a John Elway, or a Casey Clausen.

I think Vol destiny has taken over, in Knoxville. Fate is in control of the Vol quarterback situation, now. Things are back on track. And, frankly, it's a little scary if you asked me. Weyman fits the Vol offense like a glove. It is almost too uncanny, so don't be surprised if you get a case of dea ja vu, when he's out there. Because, Weyman really is a Casey Clausen Clone.

I had Casey Clausen rated as one of the top three quarterbacks in the country when he came out four years ago. He had a super strong arm and he was a tremendous leader on the field. Brodie Croyle came out a year later and he had basicly the same strong arm and the tremendous leadership.

On his recent highlight tape, Weyman demonstrated a lot of the same skills that made Clausen and Croyle two of my top rated quarterbacks in the country. Weyman has the Casey Clausen cool and the Brodie Croyle arm. He's patient like Clausen as he lets the play develop. He is very "laid-back" just like Clausen and he has the same Casey Clausen attitude.

The only thing that gives him away, as a Casey Clausen impostor, is his athleticism and durability. In fact, I am one of those who thinks Coach Philip Fulmer is one of the great geniuses in college football. Now that I think about it, Coach Phil might have just out smarted everyone by pulling this thing out of the fire in the final hour. Maybe he had this thing working out all the time. But, anyway he did it, it could just spell win-win, for him and the Vols.

When you analyze it, it is a perfect situation for the Vols. Weyman gets on campus in time to fill the recruiting gap and the quarterback void. He has time to get acclimated this summer and fall. And he has Casey Clausen as his role model, so he can complete the cloning process. Then he gets to compete with the spring crowd, whatever that mix is. By spring training, next year, Weyman will be a known quality on the depth chart, and he will be competing for the starting quarterback job.

Here's what I think will happen. Weyman will impress Quarterback Coach Randy Sanders, immediately and he will be good enough, that the Vols can then move James Banks back to wide receiver on a full-time basis. Now, with these things taking shape, the Vols will not be under the gun to bring in a quarterback at mid term. They can now, turn all their thoughts toward bringing in those two Parade All-American's that they think that they need, for the following year, thus setting up the shoot out between Weyman, and those other two new incoming All-World quarterbacks as true freshman.

Weyman will no longer be a walk-on, but an experienced, very mature, Vol quarterback. Unless, there is another Michael Vick out there, the other two will probably be backing him up. Weyman is also potentially an all-world quarterback himself. With his 132 IQ, and his physical superiority, all Weyman ever needed was experience and he will have that with one year in the system. So he will be off and running with a year head start. And that's why I believe that things are back on track in Knoxville.

And let's end the confusion on this kid's eligibility. Some people still think that Weyman is a Junior College player, but that is wrong. He's a senior in high school now, so he's got 5 years to get 4 years of playing time. The fact still remains that he played at the college level last year, in a unique advanced prep program, and this will now add to the Vols benefit. He played against the Virginia Tech Junior Varsity and the Colgate Junior Varsity among others. Talk about the perfect fit at the perfect time.

So why do I feel he'll be an instant success for the Vols? Besides his overall talent, Weyman is tenacious and he has done so many exciting and unorthodox things during his rise to D-1 prominence. He just commands big situations, like this. And there is no bigger situation in football, than competing for a starting quarterback in the prestigious Southeast Conference. With all of his tremendous upside skills, I look for him to become a Vol quarterback starter.

Remember, This is the same Brett Weyman who never played football before his junior season, but he stepped onto a football field and threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns in the first half of the first football game that he ever played in. This is also the same Brett Weyman who flew 3,000 miles across the country to attend the Nike Camp at Stanford so he could shoot it out with 5 or 6 of the Elite 11 quarterbacks.

If you talk to a few coaches and scouts who were there at the Stanford Camp, you will be amazed to find that Weyman out-performed most, if not all of the Elite Quarterbacks, but just like in politics, there are too many hidden agendas, because most observers said the he out-threw them, but he was never given any credit for out-shining those quarterbacks from the West Coast.

This is also the same Brett Weyman who was the only high school senior quarterback, in the country last year, to skip his senior season in high school to play for the legendary Fork Union Military Prep School with all of his teammate being post graduates. The last quarterback to do that was Vinny Testeverde.

And now, this is the same Brett Weyman who has stared conventional wisdom in the face, once again, to throw caution to the wind, and risk everything for a shot at a moon walk into Neyland Stadium, on a Saturday evening.

Talk about excitement, this is going to be a real thiller for all of the Vol Nation!

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