It’s raining out in Knoxville on Wednesday but the coaches at Tennessee’s Anderson Training Center are hardly dark and gloomy after the recruiting news they just received.
Jacob Warren informed the Vols staff that he plans to suit up for the Orange & White, joining a commitment class that is already double-digit deep.
“They went crazy, they were excited, they were happy to hear that,” Warren told InsideTennessee. “I think they were just ready to get going because we have a lot of local kids coming in and a lot of early guys. So I think that they were just excited to hear it and say, ‘Alright, let’s go. We’re ready.’”
The Scout three-star prospect gives Tennessee its 11th commitment of the 2018 class, including its first tight end. He joins fellow in-state talents Brendon Harris of Chattanooga and Brant Lawless of Nashville as well as California-based quarterback Adrian Martinez as rising seniors to pull the trigger this May.
Offensive line coach Walt Wells had a hand in the pledge while Larry Scott was one of the Tennessee coaches most directly affected by Wednesday’s news as the new offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.
“He was excited, he was crazy excited,” Warren said of Scott.
The Farragut (Tenn.) High School tight end said he’s known for 3-4 weeks that Tennessee was likely to be the landing spot.
“I was just starting to think about where I really liked it the most and then when I went on the visits and everything, I was just like, ‘Is this place going to be able to take me from my home? Is this place going to be able to take me away from Tennessee?’” Warren said. “So I was just thinking about the places I went to. It was just…the answer was no. I just thought that was the place I needed to be.”
Warren struggled to say which schools were the other finalists but Oregon and Vanderbilt were programs brought up.
The family feel associated with the Big Orange was tough to beat. The Scout No. 1-ranked tight end in the Volunteer State’s 2018 class is the son of former Tennessee lineman James Warren and is friends with now-fellow commits Oliver Lane and Cade Mays as the trio works out together at Next Level Training.
“It’s just like family,” Warren said. “Everybody’s just coming together. I don’t really know a lot of the non-local guys. But the local guys — me, Cade, Ollie — every time we’re hanging out it’s always a good time. We’re always just laughing. And actually I can stay home with my family and my family can be near me and around me and come to the games. It’s really just family. This is where I’ve grown up and this is where I want to stay at.”
The Tennessee legacy said Vols fans can expect to see an "exciting, like new tight end who can play a lot of positions, play wide receiver, block, play H-back, just versatility and add to this really strong class we have coming up. This 2018 class is going to be something special."
Warren was an instrumental piece in helping Farragut claim the 2016 TSSAA Class 5A state championship. He caught the game-tying touchdown in a comeback after trailing the Independence Eagles by 28 points. The Admirals won 45-35 to secure the first football title in school history. Warren finished with four catches for 53 yards.
In his junior season, he totaled 29 receptions for 479 yards with nine touchdowns.