On Wednesday, Tennessee football tight end Jacob Warren said he is still undecided about whether or not he will give the NFL a shot. He said right now his focus is on the Orange Bowl.
Warren, who stands at 6’6″ 250 pounds, would have been out of eligibility after this year anyway if not for the 2020 COVID season not counting against players. He said there are opportunities for him regardless of his decision.
“There’s opportunities for me to go on and have a successful career and bet on myself in that way of going and making a team and being able to work my way through whatever regardless of where I were to get drafted or undrafted or whatever it may be,” he said. “Obviously there’s all the predictions and everything that there may be, but at the end of the day, the film speaks for itself, and I think there will be someone that would be willing to give me an opportunity to play in that league.”
Princeton Fant, Warren’s co-starter at tight end, is out of eligibility. However, they have different builds and different roles, so it’s not like Warren would replace Fant’s role next year.
At the same time, depending on who develops in Fant’s spot, Tennessee football could still end up using Warren more. The graduate of Farragut High School in Knoxville noted the positives with him coming back as well.
“I’ve got a place here that cares about me, and I think I’ll have a lot of supportive fans and everybody else, so people would be happy to see me come back at the same time, and obviously I love this place,” he said. “It’s my home. My family lives right down the street, so it’s also big opportunities for me just to be comfortable here and play another year with the team that I love, so it’s just a matter of trying to decide once there’s nothing else on my plate.”
This year, Warren has 12 catches for 163 yards. In 2021, he caught 18 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Although Fant had more yards, Warren was always the go-to tight end in red zone passing situations.
In an attempt to make the right decision, Warren says he will wait for when nothing is weighing on him. Choosing what to do “with a sound mind” is a priority of his.
“Once I make that decision I think everybody will probably see it, and, one way or another, I think people will support me in what I want to do,” he said.
Waiting in the wings behind him is Charlie Browder, who transferred to the Vols from the UCF Knights last year. Browder stands at 6’7″ 250 pounds, so he has a similar build.
Ethan Davis is a high-profile signee who would play the role of Fant, but joining him in competition there will be UC Davis transfer tight end McCallan Castles. Miles Campbell was in that role, but he transferred out.
While Warren’s NFL Draft decision is tough on its own, he noted that the wide open transfer portal puts even more pressure on young kids to try to make the right decision. High expectations, as he noted, are naturally going to come with a transfer.
“You wouldn’t transfer somewhere that you didn’t think that you could play at, or that you didn’t think that you would at least have a chance to go and play significant snaps,” he said.