Chasing Another Chavis

It remains to be seen how good prep school D-line prospect Miguel Chavis might become, but it's hard to argue he appears to be a perfect fit for Tennessee where his surname is synonymous with superlative defense.

Of course, a versatile, mobile defensive lineman by any other name would still be as sweet to the Volunteers, who are looking for difference makers and depth. Miguel Chavis may have that talent to eventually do both. At the very least, he's an intriguing albeit low-profile prospect whose stock has surged substantially in a single season at Hargrave Military Academy.

Chavis played linebacker as a junior for Fayetteville along with tight end, fullback Sanford High School in North Carolina but at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds has grown into a defensive end. He also played tight end at Hargrave, but his quick first step, full throttle motor and lateral speed would allow him to potentially excel on the interior.

A good athlete and intense competitor ,Chavis clocked a 4.83 time in the 40 at the Shrine Bowl Combine last spring and has since turned a 4.75. He was also credited with a 4.83 shuttle and a 29.3 inch vertical leap at the Combine. Additionally he performed an impressive 23 repetitions of 185 pounds on the bench press. As he has stepped up in competition he has brought the level of his game up, too. In fact, he was one of only two high school players on Hargrave's roster and he's starting ahead of Clifton Gathers, who was a five-star prospect coming out of high school as well as a O.S. Army All-American.

"I got up (to Hargrave) and just worked hard," Chavis told Don Callahan of Inside Carolina. "Now I've got a swagger and I've been playing at a high level because of the talent around me. But really, hard work pays off."

One payoff of Chavis' sleeker form has been disposable speed. "I bring a lot of speed," said Chavis. "I've been working on my footwork a lot. Being here [at Hargrave] has helped me a lot. I've slimmed down – I've added a lot of muscle and lost a lot of fat, which has helped with my speed."

Now that he has developed the tools he needs to retool his technique.

"I have to work on backside pursuit," said Chavis. "You think at defensive end you do your job if you contain, but also you can make a backside pursuit and save a touchdown. You just have to stay focused during the play and play to the whistle."

Chavis, who is a non-rated two-star prospect in Scout.com's rankings, has compiled a list of impressive offers including — Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Clemson among others. That outpouring of offers doesn't surprise Hargrave Academy head coach Robert Prunty.

"First of all, you can look at him and tell his size is the biggest thing he brings to the table," Prunty said. "His size, agility, at (defensive) end he's very athletic, (and) you're talking about a (tall) guy that can flat out run. So, he's very impressive."

Chavis committed to North Carolina in high school but has since rescinded that verbal pledge. (Butch Davis' staff is working to get him back on board.) That opened the door for Tennessee to get involved and it has in no uncertain terms.

"The relationship I have with the coaches [at Tennessee has them in the lead]," Chavis told Callahan. "They're real, real cool guys. Tennessee has put a lot of defensive prospects in the NFL – I think they're second behind Miami. It's a great program."

Chavis visited UT on the first weekend of December and proclaimed the Vols his leader. However he was slated to visit Georgia last weekend and is still considering visits to , Clemson, Maryland and Wake Forest. He made a recent unofficial visit to Chapel Hill.

"Right now, I'm kind of leaning towards Tennessee," Chavis said after his visit to UT. "First of all, I just want to play for a big school – I want to play at the highest level I can possibly play. I'm a defensive player and the reputation of the coaches over at Tennessee, they are defensive gurus and have put a lot of players in the [National Football] League. Coach [Phillip] Fulmer, I've talked to him and I was very impressed. Plus, there's nothing better than playing in front of 110,000 people."

That might be more than Tennessee's competitors can match.

To say nothing of having a defensive coordinator named Chavis or a line coach ( Dan Brooks) who is a North Carolina native.


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