Jacob Warren can’t hold back a smile when talking about now having the option to play college football.
That dream became a reality when Texas-San Antonio placed a scholarship offer on the table in November and the list of suitors has merely increased since.
“It’s awesome,” Warren told InsideTennessee. “I look up to all the people that play in college. Now, no matter what, I’m going to be one of those guys. I don’t know. That really hits home for me.”
Tennessee made that opportunity a local option for the 6-foot-6, 210-pound tight end from the 2018 class, issuing Warren a scholarship offer that could “mean everything” for a Farragut (Tenn.) High School standout that resides less than 40 minutes from Neyland Stadium.
The Admiral playmaker camped twice on Rocky Top and visited unofficially for gamedays. However, communication leading up to this week was minimal. His performance in Friday’s TSSAA Class 5A 45-35 state championship win over previously undefeated Independence likely played a role in the shift of attention.
“It’s unreal,” Warren said of bringing a gold ball back to Farragut. “Me and my classmates, we’ve been talking about this since we were in eighth grade: ‘When we were juniors, we were going to win state.’ We made it happen. We’re all happy.”
The lengthy target came down with a 10-yard touchdown reception on the initial play of the fourth quarter. Joe Doyle’s ensuing PAT tied the game at 35-all.
“I mean when they call my number, all I really have to do is make a play. We’ve been doing it all year. So no nerves, no pressure on me. I just go out there and do what I do,” he said.
That capped a furious comeback from being down 35-7 just prior to halftime and was a pivotal play in the Admirals scoring 38 unanswered.
“We just talked about how many times we’ve done this in the past — we’ve been down by bigger deficits — and how we’ve come back from them and how we know we can do it if we stay together,” the tight end said. “Coach (Eddie Courtney) always talks about staying in the boat. That’s what we did. We played together and has a good result.”
Warren does not plan to play any spring sports at Farragut.
“I think I’m just going to train and work on my route-running and my blocking — and my speed,” he said.