Hentges: Vols recruit 'better than most'

Tennessee is in on several top tight ends in the 2015 class. Four-star Hale Hentges is yet another examples. See why the nation's No. 5 tight end "really likes" the Vols.

Tight end isn't necessarily a priority for Tennessee's 2015 class, but the Vols are certainly in on several top prospects at the position.

Scout four-star Hale Hentges, the nation's No. 5 tight end, serves as yet another example.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder claims nearly a dozen scholarship offers and says the Vols are "easily" among his favorites.

"I just really like Tennessee," the Class of 2015 standout told InsideTennessee. "I get a really good vibe about that program."

The Missouri-native rattles off a winding list of reasons when asked why he likes the Vols – ranging from tradition to new facilities and the grand Neyland Stadium – but Hentges says it's his relationship with Tennessee tight ends coach Mark Elder that makes the Orange and White a real contender for his talents.

"Me and coach Elder, we just have this really great relationship. I really trust him," Hentges told IT. "We talk all the time. He's just a great person. I like how he's so honest and kind. He's really down to earth. I really admire him."

But the admiration doesn't end at Elder.

In Hentges' eyes, Tennessee's entire coaching staff simply recruits "better" than most.

"Everyone down there is really passionate about football, and I'm not talking about the fans," Hentges said. "The coaching staff — coach (Butch) Jones and coach (John) Jancek — really loves where they are and their players. They really care about you. They just do a really good job of recruiting – better than, really, most other programs. It's easy to understand why they're having so much success."

But in order for the Tennessee's recruiting success to translate onto the gridiron, among other issues, the Vols need to improve their play at tight end.

Senior Brendan Downs and sophomore A.J. Branisel join early enrollees Daniel Helm and Ethan Wolf to make up Tennessee's current tight end group.

Tennessee coaches have made it clear to Hentges that they plan to use tight ends "more and more" in their offense as the skill level improves. Hentges views it as a major plus for the Vols.

"That's the biggest thing for me is seeing how I would be used in an offense. I really like to hear that the Vols want to use the tight end more, and, really, they already use it a lot," Hentges told IT. "I've seen their offense and think it's a really good fit."

Hentges is unaware of his specific future visitation plans, but said he plans to visit Tennessee in the "near future."

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