A combination of deep-rooted Tennessee traditions and knowledgeable coaches were the reason that Jake Marwede said he decided to experience Rocky Top for the first time ever Saturday as the Volunteers hosted a junior day.
The event mostly featured Volunteer State prospects but the Scout three-star tight end made the trek down from Wilmette, Illinois.
“I loved it,” Marwede said. “It was a great atmosphere, great coaches. I got to develop a relationship with them, get a feel for the players. I think it’s just about developing relationships with the coaches and players — just finding the family feel, or whatever feels most like home to me.”
Marwede had a chance to meet and speak with Tennessee coach Butch Jones for the first time.
“It was great, we got along really well. He seems like a great guy,” said Marwede, who plays at Loyola (Ill.) Academy.
The 6-foot-5, 238-pounder experienced the Tennessee campus, athletics facilities and attended the men’s basketball game versus LSU at Thompson-Boling Arena. The 2017 class target spent time speaking with first-year Tennessee tight ends coach Larry Scott, both for relationship building and to get educated on the tight end’s role in coordinator Mike DeBord’s offense.
The former quarterback Marwede stated that the coaches at Tennessee would intend to use his skills “not as totally in-line, but as more of a flex, creating mismatches outside as well as putting me in the line where they need me to run block.”
Before stepping foot on campus, the Land of Lincoln standout said he previously “did not know too much” about what Tennessee’s campus had to offer, yet he was very impressed with the Anderson Training Center and Neyland-Thompson Sports Center. After his first impression of the university, he believes that he gained a lot from his visit and that Tennessee is a school he will consider.
With 18 offers from schools like Duke, Northwestern and Vanderbilt, the junior expects to be taking plenty of campus visits to various schools soon.
“I still have a few visits over the next few weeks. After that, I’m probably going to start narrowing it down. I haven’t really done much narrowing down other than that,” said Marwede, who scored twice and reeled in four catches for 83 yards in Loyola Academy’s 41-0 win in the 2015 IHSA Class 8A state championship over Marist.
The three-star prospect heads north to check out Ohio State as well as Penn State in the upcoming week.
With lots of schools to narrow down from his options, the next few months are crunch time for Marwede, as his goal is to make a decision months before signing day.
“I’d like to (make a decision) before the summer so I can just focus on the team senior season, get it done with. I’d like to get that out of the way,” he said.
In 2015, Marwede caught 16 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 140 yards and eight TDs.