Vols get state's No. 1 TE in LaTrell Bumphus

Amidst a storm of commitment news for Tennessee on Saturday was a declaration from the state's No. 1-rated tight end, LaTrell Bumphus.

LaTrell Bumphus knows his future home — and it’s Tennessee.

“It feels real good,” Bumphus told InsideTennessee. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for a long time.”

Although the Scout No. 3-rated tight end in the South announced during Orange Carpet Day in Knoxville, he knew long before he drove east from Savannah for the event.

“I actually decided two or three days ago,” Bumphus said.

The Volunteer State talent chose the Big Orange over offers such as Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Oregon and Southern California. Coach Butch Jones and the Tennessee staff didn’t hesitate in accepting the commitment.

“They was all for it,” Bumphus said. “They told me that it was my decision, and they thought that any decision I made would be real good for me and they really was for it.”

Orange Carpet Day is an invite-only event put on by Tennessee. It’s an opportunity for relationship building. The new Vol commit took advantage, speaking with aides like tight ends coach Larry Scott and defensive line coach Steve Stripling.

“I hung out with a lot of folks — coach Scott and coach Stripling, all of them,” Bumphus said.

“We got to see a lot of different stuff, interact with more people and get out and play games and stuff, like get out and enjoy ourselves.”

Bumphus plans to choose tight end as his positional home on The Hill. That would mean Scott would be the assistant coach in charge of his development.

“It’s pretty strong,” Bumphus said of his relationship with Scott. “It’s getting stronger. We talk more and more.”

On Saturday, Tennessee pulled in eight verbal commitments altogether. Announcements were made during OCD at Neyland Stadium.

“It was real good because I wasn’t expecting everything to happen like that,” Bumphus said. “So, it was really exciting.”

The Volunteers went 9-4 in 2015, including an Outback Bowl victory over Northwestern. The season ahead is already bogged down with expectations. If he signs with Tennessee, Bumphus will be a part of the 121st edition of the Vols.

“It’s going way up,” he said of the program direction. “Big things are going to happen.”

The Hardin County (Tenn.) High School two-way standout hasn’t yet shifted into a recruiter’s role as Tennessee attempts to build onto its class that currently ranks No. 8 nationally by Scout.

“Not really, just sat back and enjoyed it. I’ll start working on that though,” he said.

The 6-foot-3 ½, 230-pounder has 4.96 speed and ran a 4.60-second shuttle earlier this year.


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