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Tennessee football: Nico Iamaleava NOT living up to the hype?

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Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren doesn’t consume all of the information that floats around the internet about the Vols. How could he? It’s never ending. However, when told about a recent report that freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava might be falling short of his billing, Warren was willing to offer his insight.

“I don’t know what the guy has watched or what he’s seen. Or if he’s been sneaking around our complex or something and has developed this opinion about about this kid,” Warren said referring to a report by CBS’s Dennis Dodd that Iamaleava was underwhelming since arriving on campus in December. “Surely that can’t be, because what I’ve seen is a kid that is excited to learn, is very confident in himself, because he should be, right? He should be confident in himself. He’s one of the best players in the nation and you know a quarterback. Generally, quarterbacks are that way.” 

Warren wasn’t ready to come out and say that Iamaleava is going to win a couple of Heisman Trophies and national championships. Warren was simply taken aback by the notion that Iamaleava could be judged so quickly.

“You’re talking about somebody’s kid,” Warren said. It’s not fair to say that because no one’s seen him, no one is seeing the guy perform, literally no one except for the people in the building. So man, as far as me, I’m excited.”

Nico Iamaleava NOT living up to expectations? Not true per Tennessee Vols’ TE Jacob Warren

While senior Joe Milton is expected to the starter in 2023, people are certainly interested in Iamaleava, who is Tennessee highest-rated signee since such records were kept. The five-star quarterback is considered a transcendental player that can elevate the Vols from contender to championship. There’s pressure and expectations, but there’s also plenty of work in store for Iamaleava in order to reach those goals.

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“I’m excited to see him,” Warren said. “He’s one of the guys that I’m excited to just watch go out there and just see how he say he does. Does he swim? Does he sink? Does he float? We’ll see, but I’m excited for for him and his development. Hopefully he lives up to the hype.”

One thing that isn’t up for debate is Iamaleava’s ability to fit in with the Vols. When asked, anyone with Tennessee’s program has said Iamaleava doesn’t have a cocky attitude that can often come in tow with lofty expectations. Iamaleava, per Warren, is more concerned about perfecting his craft than creating a premature aura of greatness.

“Something that I’ve seen from him is if he misses a throw…he’s very quick to accept the fact that he’s off or that it’s his fault right,” Warren said. “He’s not blaming anybody else, he’s not. He truly looks inward and says like, ‘Okay, what do I need to do to fix this?’”

So far, nothing major seems to need fixing. 

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2 Responses

  1. Translation. Missouri grad Dennis Dodd hates Tennessee. Always has. Always will. He may be proven correct, but at this point, I consider it his latest hit piece.

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