'Absolute terror'

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Dylan Wiesman would be easy to spot at Cincinnati's Colerain High School even if he didn't pack 300 pounds on a 6-foot-4 frame. His attire tends to stand out from the crowd.

"He's been wearing Tennessee gear ever since he committed," Colerain head football coach Tom Bolden told InsideTennessee by phone. "He wears something orange almost every day. He's definitely excited about signing."

Per school policy, the massive young offensive lineman will take part in a signing ceremony at 7 a.m. Wednesday, well before classes begin at Colerain High.

"We know how college coaches like to get those papers done early, so he'll have his NLI (national letter of intent) in by 7:30," Bolden said.

Rated a two-star prospect at guard, Wiesman originally committed to the University of Cincinnati in 2010 but switched his allegiance to Tennessee shortly after Butch Jones left the former to become head coach at the latter in December. As a result, Wiesman is grossly underrated in his high school coach's estimation.

"He had a phenomenal senior year," Bolden said. "He was first-team all-league, first-team All-Southwest Ohio and first-team all-state. He probably didn't get the number of stars he could've because he had verballed to Coach Jones at Cincinnati as a sophomore. I'm telling you right now: He's the best offensive lineman in the state of Ohio, bar none."

Those are strong words but the prep coach is convinced that Tennessee is getting a young man with the brains and brawn to play in the NFL someday.

"Dylan is everything you want in an offensive lineman," Bolden said. "He's a 3.9 student with a 26 on the ACT, so he's highly intelligent. He's very attentive to his academics but when he steps between the lines he's a whole different animal. He's no longer the gentle, quiet Dylan Wiesman.

Head coach Butch Jones move to Knoxville meant a perfect fit for Wiesman.
"He becomes an absolute terror on the football field. He will clean your clock. He absolutely finishes blocks. It's quite impressive to watch how he finishes blocks. He's a flat-back, pad-on-pad blocker."

Wiesman got plenty of opportunities to develop his run-blocking skills at ground-oriented Colerain High.

"We've been a triple-option team for 20 years but we threw the ball 152 times this year," Bolden said. "I can tell you this: It's easier to teach somebody to pass protect than run block. There's a certain mentality that goes with run blocking, and Dylan has that. He'll pick up any deficiencies he has in pass protection pretty quickly."

Already packing 300 pounds, Wiesman has the frame to add more bulk.

"He looks about 275 or 280 pounds," Bolden said. "I can see him getting up to 315 or 320 pounds easy. I think he'll end up being an NFL center. The sky's the limit for him on the interior."

Asked why Wiesman projects to move from guard to center, his coach replied: "He has the intelligence to be able to make line checks and see things. He has a high football IQ."

Wiesman also has technique and tenacity. He loves putting opponents on their backs.

"He graded out above 90 percent in every one of our games," Bolden noted, "and he led our team with 147 knockdowns."

Competing in the rugged Southeastern Conference should be no problem for Wiesman, who already faced superior competition as a high schooler.

"We were 12-1 and regional runnersup," Bolden said. "We were sixth in the country in the USA TODAY rankings at one point, then we lost to the eventual state champ, Moeller, 24-21 in the regional championship game.

A multi-talented athlete, Wiesman also competes as a thrower in track.

"He throws the shot, and he's got a chance to make a run at the state championship," Bolden said.

Because Wiesman had such a breakout senior season in football, several recruiters tried to turn him even after he committed to Tennessee on Jan. 4.

"A few schools showed interest," Bolden said, "but we have a policy here that once a kid verbals we shut 'em down."

All of that orange attire may have discouraged the other suitors, as well.

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