Big man on campus

He wasn't the most talented prospect attending Derek Dooley's lineman camp Saturday afternoon but he surely was the most physically imposing.

Tre' Haynes of Gallatin - all 6 feet 4 and 368 pounds of him - looked like a man among boys as he toured the Tennessee campus with 200-plus other prospects. He apparently looked even more like a man among boys in the one-on-one drills.

"I loved the one-on-ones. That was the best," Haynes said, grinning broadly as he left Neyland Stadium. "Going against somebody you don't even know was great. I did good. I did REAL good."

Haynes is massive but he's no blubber-butt. He carries his weight exceptionally well ... much like Albert Toeaina, a 6-5, 355-pounder who started at right offensive tackle for the 2005 Vols. In addition to plenty of heft, Haynes has plenty of confidence.

"I can drive people off the ball any time, man," he said matter of factly. "I drive 'em off the ball easy. With my weight, it's easy to just run-block somebody, knock 'em off the play."

Haynes tends to intimidate high school opponents, most of whom he outweighs by 100 pounds or more. Some of them are beaten before the ball is snapped.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "Every time I step on the field, you can see it, plain as day."

Haynes played offensive guard and "some D-tackle" as a junior for Gallatin High last fall. If he can develop the footwork to complement his imposing size, he might become a nose guard in college. Perhaps that's why he spent most of Saturday's camp working with a defensive specialist, Vol linebackers coach Peter Sirmon.

"The coaches showed me a lot of attention, especially Coach Sirmon," Haynes said. "He taught me a whole lot, and his assistant showed me a whole lot. They taught me a lot of technique and everything. It was great."

Haynes used the word "great" many times in describing his stay in Knoxville.

"It was great. It was awesome," he said. "I learned a lot of stuff. I learned how to use my body, how to use my hips ... everything I need to go to the next level and be a better athlete."

Although Tennessee went just 6-7 last season, Haynes sees brighter days ahead for head coach Derek Dooley and his staff.

"They're great," the prospect said. "They've got a nice thing going here."

Haynes said the schools that seem most interested in him - and vice-versa - are Tennessee, Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Duke, Nebraska, Auburn and Arkansas State in that order.

Like Tennessee basketball player/rapper Renaldo Woolridge, Haynes is hoping for a career in the music industry. Because he hopes to be a "radio DJ" someday, he is looking for a college with a strong broadcasting program.

Haynes was voted Gallatin's Offensive Lineman of the Year and its Defensive Lineman of the Year last season. He said he also was selected to an All-Midstate team.


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