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Tennessee recruiting: Vols make an offer that could fill a need at TE

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Since Jan. 20, Colton Heinrich has received 20 offers. Tennessee is the latest school to join the mix. 

The three-star tight end out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida has been a hot commodity recently. 

“It’s a dream come true getting this attention from college coaches,” Heinrich told Off The Hook Sports. “But I have to continue to work hard and focus on my game.”

The Vols joined the Heinrich sweepstakes on Monday. 

“I was extremely excited receiving the offer because of the history of the program, and the success they have had over the years including this past one,” Heinrich said. 

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Recently promoted to tight ends coach, Alex Abeln has been heavily involved in Heinrich’s recruitment. 

“My initial thought was that I really like him,” Heinrich said. “He seems like he is very knowledgeable, and he seems fun to be around.”

Tight end is a position of need for Tennessee. After this season, both Princeton Fant and transfer McCallan Castles will have exhausted their eligibility. That leaves Tennessee with only Ethan Davis as a scholarship-tight end. 

Heinrich ranks as the No. 22 tight end in the 2024 class, and the No. 73 prospect out of Florida.

Barring any transfers, Josh Heupel will look to get a couple of tight ends from the 2024 class to build depth. Heinrich’s versatility at the tight end position makes it no surprise why the Vols are targeting him. 

“I see myself playing a big role on a team as I am able to be spread out as a receiver but also be able to be attached to the line,” he said. “Or, in the backfield as an H back to help out in the run game.”

This past season, Heinrich caught 36 passes for 464 yards and 3 TD in 13 games.

Tennessee’s explosive up-tempo offense is not foreign to Heinrich, who runs a very similar offense at Cardinal Gibbons High School. 

“The up-tempo matches the type of offense I run in high school,” he said. “We are a no-huddle, all-signals type of offense.”

Heinrich expects to be in Knoxville in April as well as taking visits to “several other schools.”

He is looking for a well-rounded environment that will support him on and off the field. 

“I am looking for a school whose community supports the college and will sell out games, along with academics, which is very important to me,” he said.

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