Offers coming younger and younger

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New Tennessee Volunteers head coach Butch Jones and his coaching staff have put a premium on being the first to party when it comes to offering prospects.

These days, that means offering prospects earlier and earlier and that couldn't be more evident in the case of Powell, Tenn., native and high school freshman Darel Middleton.

A 6-foot-5, 220-pound high school wide receiver, Middleton visited Rocky Top for the first time this weekend and grabbed his first official offer.

"It was really good," Middleton told InsideTennessee.com. "I really liked the coaches and everything. I had never been up here before. The facilities are really nice. It was good to come up here and talk to the coaches."

The Powell (Tenn.) High School newcomer was able to get a look at the very first practice of the Jones era as well as talk to the headman and several others on the staff.

"It was good watching the first practice," he said. "It really put something in me. It made me want to go out and work even harder so I can get there.

"I talked to coach Jones and coach (Mike) Bajakian quite a bit. It was really good talking to coach Jones. I talk to (wide receivers) coach (Zach) Azzanni too. I went to the wide receiver meeting and talked to Devrin (Young) some too."

While Middleton may be at the wide receiver position for the Panthers, with his size, at age 14, it wouldn't be surprising to see him grow into a lineman at the next level. The good news for Tennessee — Middleton has always been a fan of the Orange & White.

"Really Tennessee is the only school that is recruiting me right now," he said. "I am pretty high on Tennessee right now. I have grown up a Tennessee fan being from here. It is awesome to get an offer. I am just a freshman. I am just all smiles right now."

You can see the beastly highlights from Middleton's freshman season below:

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