Vols' up-tempo scheme appeals to Sindelar

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Elijah Sindelar owns half a dozen scholarship offers. What's one more, right?

Tennessee is a school paying close attention to the Scout four-star quarterback from Princeton, Ky., and an offer could be on the horizon. That's something that the Class of 2015 prospect would not take lightly.

"It'd mean a lot," Sindelar told InsideTennessee. "It's close, which I really like, and I want to see the campus. But, I like a radius around my family. I don't want to be too far. They want to come see games, and I want them to be there. I'm a family guy. I think family is real important.

"Tennessee's close, I like them, they're doing really well. I've watched a lot of games on TV. I remember the one I think against Georgia when they lost just at the goal-line. That was a heartbreaker. But, it would mean a lot to me."

The Caldwell County (Ky.) High School standout owned an allegiance to Ohio State through his youth but understands the value of earning an offer from a Southeastern Conference school as Kentucky and Ole Miss pulled the trigger already.

"A little bit," the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder said, "but really what it boils down to is I want to be the type of guy that comes and sparks a team. I want to be a guy that goes there and brings everybody else up. That's what I want to be. I want to bring Christ into the team. So, if I can build everybody else up, I don't really care what school I'm at. I'm going to give it my all no matter where I am. So, if it's SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12…it does mean a lot, you know, best competition. But in the end, academics come first. SEC does mean a lot to me because I want to play with the best."

Tennessee offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian saw Sindelar throw in a practice setting earlier this year before making a return trip to Princeton this fall.

"I've called him (Bajakian) a couple times," said Sindelar, who enters the 2014 season 39 touchdown passes short of a Kentucky high-school state record shared by Leslie County's Tim Couch and South Larel's Ricky Bowling. "He told me he wanted me to get up there.

"We've been talking a little bit. When he came down, he was a nice guy. He had a lot of good things to say. I like coaches like that. I like upbeat coaches."

Caldwell County runs a Spread, up-tempo offensive system. Finding a similar scheme is something of a prerequisite for Sindelar. That plays in Tennessee's favor.

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"Yes, yes I do like that a lot," Sindelar said. "That kind of plays into one of my three topics about their football program is if they run the same system because I'm going straight from shotgun all the time and only being under center for victory (formation) to going to like Alabama and begin all under center. That's a big jump. I don't mind to do that. It's just a challenge for me, and I love challenges. But it would help to be at a school where I can transfer easily and be comfortable where I'm at now.

"Of course, if I'm going somewhere, I want to be to pass the ball. I don't want it to be 80-20 run-pass."

After signing a pair of quarterbacks in the 2013 class, the Volunteers aren't expected to ink another with the 2014 group.

"That kind of makes me feel a little bit better, but I'm going to compete for the spot no matter who's there," said Sindelar, who took over as Caldwell County's starter as a freshman. "I don't care if it's a three-year starter. I'm going to compete for that spot. It does kind of relieve some of the pressure off if nobody has signed before me, but I'm going to compete no matter what."

As one could imagine, Sindelar thinks of a former Vols great signal-caller and a future NFL Hall of Famer when it comes to Tennessee.

"I think of Peyton Manning a lot. Peyton Manning came there, and he took the team to the next level. I want to be one of those guys."

Sindelar finished his junior campaign 196-of-303 passing for 3,374 yards with 44 touchdowns against eight interceptions. On the ground, he toted the football 61 times for 424 yards and seven scores.

As a sophomore, Sindelar completed 203 of 327 passes for 2,961 yards and 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He ran the football 64 times for 447 yards and seven scores. In 2011, the right-hander tossed for 2,693 yards by completing 186 of 317 attempts with 19 TDs and 16 INTs.

The field general plans to be an engineer. He also plays baseball and basketball for Caldwell County.

See an edition of InsideTennessee'S Friday Night Clips with Sindelar after a trip to the Blue Grass State this fall by clicking play on the video below (click to enlarge):

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 Scout team July 2011.
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