MATTHEWS, N.C. — Charlton Warren made quite a bit of sense for Tennessee when it had a vacancy for defensive backs coach.
Father. Husband. Three-year letterman at the Air Force Academy. Atlanta native. Experience on the DI level.
One of several recruiting targets to give Warren heavy praise this spring is Trey Dean.
“Coach Warren is a great coach coming from North Carolina,” Dean told InsideTennessee. “He’s a great coach. I think they got a good coach in him.”
The Dutchtown (Ga.) High School defensive back’s interest in the Big Orange stems from the lofty impression he’s gotten from Warren and the other coaches in Knoxville.
“Just the coaching staff and especially the fan base — you know how they do things,” Dean said. “Academically-wise, they’re great, too. Just the coaching staff and the way they roll and how they do things.”
Dean got a first-hand look at how the Vols defensive backs practice with an unofficial visit recently to Rocky Top, noting that they “work very hard.”
“I’ve been for a spring practice. It was real nice,” Dean said.
Of course the No. 35-ranked safety in America has his fair share of suitors. He is “wide open kinda” with his recruitment but of all the schools after him, Dean listed “Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oregon, UCLA, Texas” as the ones coming the hardest.
Expectations are for the Scout four-star prospect to make a summer move toward concentrating on a select group of schools. The Volunteers are part of a group vying to make that cut with the Georgia Bulldogs, the Crimson Tide and the Gamecocks among some of the top contenders.
It won’t be much longer before 2018 class recruits start taking official visits, however, the No. 4-ranked safety in the Peach State isn’t ready to approach solidifying those destinations.
“Not yet. I haven’t even thought that far yet,” Dean said.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder said Tennessee is open to his playing either cornerback or safety, and he’s confident he could do either on the next level.
In 2016, Dean totaled 50 tackles, 14 pass breakups and an interception.