Colorado prospect trips to future home

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The journey from his current to future home is roughly 2,800 miles roundtrip, so for Dan Skipper's official visit to Tennessee, it was a chance to see Knoxville at it's best — when the Volunteers are at Neyland Stadium.

"It was awesome," Skipper said. "I had a lot of fun. Watched a great football game and had fun with some of the guys.

"It's unlike anything else that we have in Colorado. It's just great to see. The Vol Walk was awesome."

The FOX Sports NEXT three-star prospect is ranked the No. 52 offensive tackle in the country. The Ralston Valley (Colo.) High School product went public with his pledge to the Power T back on June 27.

After tripping from the Rockies to the Smokies back in the summer, Sunday morning was another opportunity for the Arvada, Colo., native to speak with coach Derek Dooley, offensive line coach Sam Pittman and strength coach Ron McKeefery.

There message to their future blocker: "Just keep working and good luck this year."

The 6-foot-10, 292-pounder spoke highly of the engineering side of things on The Hill, as well as the campus atmosphere on a gameday weekend.

Between the ongoing construction of the John Tickle Engineering Building and the new Min Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building, Tennessee has plenty to show off for recruits and students like Skipper.

"Very important to know what I'm getting into academically as well as athletically," said Skipper, who entered his senior year with a 3.91 grade point average.

With so very many players verbally committed long before they sign their letters of intent, relationship building within recruiting classes is becoming more prevalent. Skipper got a chance to chat it up with fellow linemen from the Class of 2013 like Brett Kendrick and Austin Sanders, as well as wide receiver Josh Smith.

"It was great. Last night I met with them. I got to put a face with a name. We'd talked a little bit on Facebook earlier. It's good getting to know them," Skipper said.

He noted that he doesn't have a target weight for when he begins his college football career. Between finishing up his senior season at Ralston Valley and enrolling in Knoxville, Skipper merely wants to stay healthy.

No plans have been set up for him to play on the left or right side. Pittman told him "when everyone gets there, start putting the pieces in and we'll go from there."

Much of his prep career Skipper has fired off the line, adept at run blocking in a Wing-T offense. That has changed some this year as he's gotten his first taste of the two-point stance, which is what Tennessee predominantly uses.

"We're throwing the ball more than we have in the past," he said. "This summer (pass protection) was a big focus for me. I'm getting better at that."

Pittman is expected to trip out to Colorado within the next three weeks to evaluate the future Vol in action. Skipper has no current plans to visit other schools, although he is hearing from other schools "a little bit."

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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