Ohio's best TE calls Tennessee trip 'huge'

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Hand on the ground to aid in pass and run blocking. Trickling down the line of scrimmage to take on linebackers as a receiver. Pushed out wide to create a mismatch against a cornerback.

Tennessee has a variety of roles in store for tight ends in the offense under new head coach Butch Jones, coordinated by Mike Bajakian.

A player that the Volunteers would love to see donning the orange and white, handling those duties to help them put points on the board is Ethan Wolf.

At 6-feet-6, 240 pounds, it's easy to see that the FOX Sports NEXT four-star has serious upside and simply needs to find the right home to realize his potential.

Wolf tripped to Knoxville on Saturday to see if Jones & Co. could provide that place. Going on his already-established relationship with the new Tennessee staff, Wolf is liking what he's hearing and gave the unofficial visit a thumbs up.

"It was huge," Wolf said. "I've known these guys since they were at Cincinnati. So, there was kind of a relationship between us and them and what they do and how they use the tight ends and through Travis (Kelce) at UC and the way he caught the ball, blocked and everything.

"I thought it was great what we saw. The facilities were outstanding, especially with all the new stuff they put together that they're not even done with. It's great. Neyland Stadium being the third largest stadium in the country is awesome.

"There was really nothing negative about this visit that we had today as far as watching film with (tight ends) coach (Mark) Elder and just getting the whole lowdown on Tennessee."

Tennessee tight ends coach Mark Elder would like nothing more than to have a player like Wolf at his disposal in the years to come.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
In the 2012 season for the Bearcats, Kelce reeled in 45 catches for 722 yards with eight touchdowns. The Vols hope to get similar production from that position with this staff on Rocky Top.

The Minster (Ohio) High School product looked over film with the Vol coaches.

"It was fun," Wolf said. "We have a pretty good chemistry. I've known them for a long time, for about 15 months since all this started. They were one of my early offers when they were at Cincinnati. So, they really explained to me what they're going to do with the tight end and where they see me fitting in with their program. It was really intriguing to know that I'm not going to be that 'hand-in-the-dirt guy' just blocking all the time. I'm not going to be at wide receiver all the time; I'm going to be part of the offense, one or the other, just being able to flex out and do both."

Given how much Wolf liked his trip to Tennessee and his trust for Jones, the question begs: Why not commit?

"It's early yet," Wolf said. "We've got some commitments made for visits just to kind of get out and see what other people have to offer. That's all there is to say about committing. I love it here and there's a lot of good stuff, but there could be some places that are better. You don't know."

The country's No. 7 tight end plans on visiting Michigan State this weekend and will take in Indiana not long thereafter.

"I'd like to see Michigan State to make sure that if I do make a decision that I'm not regretting anything," he said.

Other Southeastern Conference schools like Arkansas and Kentucky have also extended scholarship offers. The Hoosiers and Spartans aren't alone in the Big Ten as programs showing interest with Illinois and Nebraska having pulled the trigger on an offer already.

Chances are that Wolf will find a home in one of the two prestigious leagues.

"The Big Ten and the SEC. Those are the two that I think, personally, are the two elite conferences in college football. I've got offers from both places, so I'm really where I want to be as far as conferences go."

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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