Momentum is everything in recruiting, so there's no doubting the fact that landing the commitment of 4-star tight end Ethan Wolf is huge for the Tennessee Volunteers.
Butch Jones and his staff continue to boast one of the hotter recruiting programs in the 2014 recruiting cycle, and they're getting a player with big-time potential in Wolf.
Jared Shanker of ESPN.com reports on Wolf's rather unique commitment story, a commitment that happened when he went to talk to coach Jones in Knoxville, per the report:
So Wolf, his father, uncle and former high school coach got the new Volunteers coach to talk about rebuilding a program that is almost a decade removed from its days as a consistent SEC and national championship contender. The mantra around Neyland this spring is “brick by brick,” which is Jones’ motto for creating his regime’s foundation one piece at a time.
Which led to the final question of the day, one James Wolf, Ethan’s dad, needed answered.
“Coach Jones,” James Wolf began, “Are you accepting bricks?”
Jones was puzzled.
He now looked over at Wolf, who was fussing around in a camera bag while Wolf’s dad kept Jones occupied. The 6-foot-6, 232-pound tight end on the ESPN Watch List was now holding up his own brick, which Tennessee’s trademark checkerboard painted on it with the word “commitment” in the middle.
“How about this brick?” Wolf said to Jones.
Wolf deserves some major points for creativity. That's certainly one of the better commitment stories that I've heard.
He also deserves some major points for being such a talented recruit. (Note: These points are hypothetical mind you, as the NCAA would probably find a way to make them illegal).
Wolf is 6'6'', 240 pounds, and he's ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the country according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He's also the No. 19 player from the state of Ohio (247Sports Composite), so he represents a nice out-of-state commitment for Jones and his staff.
His height will allow him to be a mismatch at the college level, and he displays the ability to go up and high-point the ball. Wolf projects to be a big-time target, especially in the red zone. For as big as he is, he has great quickness and exceptional footwork, so he's going to be much more than a "safety valve" tight end at the college level. He should be able to stay in-line and block, but he can also split out and be a major mismatch in the slots.
The tight end position has evolved to the point where the best tight ends are essentially just bigger wide receivers, and Wolf fits that prototype of a Jermichael Finley (Green Bay Packers) or Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)-esque tight end. He'll be fast enough to stretch the defense vertically between the seams, but he can also present mismatches in the slots, flats or even vertically near the sideline.
To give you an idea of Wolf's skill set, he's also listed as being able to play defensive end by 247Sports, so he's obviously an extremely versatile athlete.
If coach Jones is looking for building blocks in an effort to rebuild Tennessee's program, he just got a cornerstone recruit in Wolf.