Big guy from Birmingham

He grew up in proximity to the University of Alabama and Auburn University but he's taking a long look at the Tennessee Vols. And, vice versa, apparently.

He grew up in proximity to the University of Alabama and Auburn University but he's taking a long look at the Tennessee Vols. And, vice versa, apparently.

The prospect in question, Haston Coates, is a 6-2, 338-pound guard from Pleasant Grove High School in Birmingham, Ala., who attended this week's Vol camp. According to several observers, he was one of the most impressive performers in camp drills, showing surprising quickness for one so large.

As he left Neyland Stadium today at the conclusion of the three-day event, he said he enjoyed the camp more than others he has attended.

"It was like no other to me," said Coates, who previously participated in camps at Alabama, UAB and Jacksonville State.

Coates apparently clicked with Vol offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.

"He motivated me to keep going in the drills, even though I've got a pulled groin and torn rotator cuff," Coaches explained. "I really like him. He put me through a lot of cone drills and pass-blocking drills. Then he pulled me aside and talked to me one-on-one."

Pleasant Grove throws the ball a decent amount, so Coates already has a pretty good grasp of pass-protecting techniques. He said his team also has him pull on many of its running plays, so he's already skilled in that area.

Asked what schools he's seriously considering, Coates replied, "Alabama, Georgia, UAB … Tennessee, of course, and Mississippi State."

One thing he likes about Tennessee is "the great atmosphere," adding that the players and coaches he met "felt like I already knew ‘em before I got here."

As for his overall impression of the visit, Coates said, "I loved it. Loved it."

Coates said he also plans to visit Mississippi State on Friday and may take another look at Alabama in the near future.


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