UT Offers Utah Tight End

According to UT's football media guide the Vols have never signed a prospect from Utah, but that could change next year as the Vols are pursuing a pair of prospects from the heart of Cougar Country.

In fact, the Vols discovered 6-foot-4, 215-pound tight end Richard Wilson while checking on his good friend Xavier Su'a-Filo, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound offensive tackle at Timpview High School. They liked what they saw on film and decided to check out Richard Wilson's practice at Spanish Fork High School.

UT's coaches were so impressed with Wilson, who clocks a solid 4.68 time in the 40, they offered him last week. They're still evaluating Su'a-Filo who is ranked the nation's No. 8 prospect at his position. He has received offers from BYU, LSU, Miami, Notre Dame and Stanford.

"[Tennessee coaches] heard from some of the coaches around in the state about me and watched film on me on the Internet somewhere," Wilson told Talo Steves of Total Blue Sports. "Coach (Greg) Adkins called my cell phone and offered me a scholarship."

Wilson is a late bloomer who had a breakthrough junior season in which he caught 46 passes for 680 yards and eight touchdowns. That's up from 14 catches for 259 yards and two TDs as a sophomore.

His stock took a sharp rise after he was named runner-up for the MVP award at the UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine in Phoenix, Az. He won the MVP award for tight ends at the BYU Football Camp.

He received his first offer from BYU on March 31 and has been adding offers ever since. He now has scholarships on the table from the hometown Cougars, Arizona, LSU, MIami, Tennessee and Utah among others.

Rated No. 12 among the Class of 2009's tight end prospects, Wilson would have to add bulk and strength to become an effective blocker in the SEC, but he is very athletic and has sure hands. He's also making gains in the weight room and can perform 17 reps of 185 pounds on the bench, seven reps of 425 in the squat and two reps of 245 pounds in the power clean. He has a 29-inch vertical and is an effective runner after the catch.

Wilson has been flattered by the recent rush of attention, but there's also more pressure on him to make visits and build relationships with coaches with a target date of Aug. 21 set for his announcement.

Plans call for Wilson to make a tour of SEC schools in July with stops schedule for Baton Rogue, Knoxville, Athens and the loveliest village on the plains aka Auburn. He could also take a short visit to Arizona. He will also attend BYU's non-padded summer camp and the All-Poly Camp.

"I am going to visit a handful of schools, including LSU," he said. "After that, I am going to announce my decision before our first game so that I can go ahead and get it all out of the way."

Other than Wilson, the only active offers UT has extended tight ends are to a pair of in-state athletes Daniel Hood of Knoxville Catholic and Thad McHaney of Brentwood Academy.

An interesting sidebar to this story is that Wilson's summer tour of southern states will be his first ever visit to the south. He admits to some apprehensive regarding the weather, culture and people down south. The BYU campus is a deep post pattern from his home and he knows the staff on a first name basis. However he realizes that the SEC is the ultimate test in college football. Finally if he signs with BYU he will be obligated to go on his Mormon mission in his second year which is just about the time players begin to feel comfortable.

Tennessee's pursuit of Su'a-Filo could also become a factor if it comes down between UT and LSU, but not as much as Wilson's July visit.

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