RECRUITING: Warren Picks Noles

Tennessee's early in-state success took a down turn today when Brandon Warren of Alcoa announced his intentions to sign with Florida State.

Warren, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound tight end, was the highest rated prospect in the state still not committed. He caught 45 passes for 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior and is currently ranked No. 15 nationally at his position.

The Vols were hoping for a clean sweep of the state's top prospects and were off to a fast start with commitments from the nation's No. 6 rated defensive tackle, Jacques McClendon, of Chattanooga Baylor, No. 5 tight end, Lee Smith of Knoxville Powell, and South Hot 100 running back, Dustin Lindsey of Alcoa.

"FSU is a place where I always wanted to play and when I went on my visit there I felt right at home," Brandon Warren told Scout.com's Jamie Newberg. "I also love the tradition at Florida State. I saw all those Hall of Fame pictures and I knew all those guys and that got me all excited. The academic support is very good as well. They have it all and FSU is the total package for me."

Warren said his decision came down to Florida State, LSU, Miami and Tennessee, but the allure of playing in Knoxville wasn't as strong as playing for his childhood favorite. When Bobby Bowden made the offer Warren had a ready answer.

"I have been to UT a few times but when I got done seeing FSU, Miami and LSU I knew where I wanted to go," he said. "I talked with Coach (John) Lilly yesterday and he said coach Bowden wanted to speak with me so it worked out great. It is a load off of my back and it was honestly a tough decision."

With a higher rated tight end already on board and scholarship numbers limited, it's not clear how hard UT fought for Warren's commitment. The Vols also received a verbal last month from tight end Luke Stocker of Berea, Ky., and is one of five favorites to land No. 1 rated tight end Nate Byhan of Franklin, Pa.


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