TE Reverse?

A great Tennessee recruiting season could get even better if the Vols gain the services of renegade Seminole tight end Brandon Warren, who played at Alcoa before choosing Florida State over UT.

Rated the nation' No. 7 tight end by Scout.com in the Class of 2006, Warren was the object of an intense recruiting battle between Tennessee and Florida State last year. He proved to be every bit as good as his lofty ranking last fall as he became the Seminoles starting tight end as a true freshman. He caught 28 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown to garner freshmen All-American honors.

Now Warren appears to be interested in returning closer to home and nearer his family.

"I don't know for sure," FSU tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator told the Tallahassee Democrat Saturday afternoon about Warren's status. "He's contemplating leaving. We had discussions as recent as (Friday)."

Should the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Warren decide to transfer he would be required to sit out a year, unless he gets a release from Florida State, which doesn't appear likely at this point. However he could seek hardship relief from the NCAA based on health problems his mother is reportedly experiencing. If that dispensation is granted he would be eligible to play the 2007 season at Tennessee.

Warren, who could also play defensive end, would more likely be used on offense by the Vols. Offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe talked with the Aloca athlete late in the recruiting process last year about how he would be deployed in UT's attack.

"Coach Cutcliffe, he's a great offensive coordinator," Warren told IT last year. "He's offensive minded. He came in today at school and drew up a couple of plays and formations and stuff, showing me how I could get the ball if I was there. It looked pretty good. He knows how to get the ball to a tight end. That's one of his primary goals he wants to do. I'm going to go in and look at it and then I'll take it from there. Monday I will announce my decision."

Warren would go on to confirmed his commitment to FSU during a press conference four days later. Although Big Orange fans were naturally disappointed not to have secured the 4-star local talent, the blow was softened by the Vols signing of No. 8 tight end prospect Lee Smith of Knoxville Powell and No. 34 tight end, Luke Stocker of Berea, Ky. UT also figured to be the favorite for No. 24 rated Michael Goggans of Alexander, Ala. However Goggans defected to Auburn while Smith was dismissed from the team during the summer. The Vols didn't sign any tight ends last week, and could use help there this fall.

As a junior Warren helped lead Alcoa to a Class-2A state title with 45 catches for 1,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense he added 20 sacks, 25 tackles for loss and 70 total tackles. He was rated the state's second best prospect in 2006 behind O-lineman Jacques McClendon of Chattanooga.

If Warren does transfer he won't be able to enroll until this summer. That would be an appropriate time for UT to land the big one that got away.


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