For decades, certain men have been known for their upper-lip facial hair. Firemen and police offers are most often associated with the manly, moustachioed look. Now, Tennessee’s tight ends have joined the fray.
“I can’t believe you haven’t said anything about my moustache yet,” Tennessee tight end Jacob Warren joked during the Vol Report this week.
Okay, so what’s with the moustache?
“All the tight ends are doing it for spring ball,” Warren said. “I was like, ‘Look, guys, mandatory moustaches. If you come, if you come to meetings tomorrow without one, then you have to transfer.’
“So everybody showed up with the moustache and now it’s the biggest freaking joke on the team. Everybody wants to say something about it.”
Warren was prepared for the moustache. He already sported a full beard as a senior. So far, freshman Ethan Davis hasn’t been as adept at growing facial hair, hence his pencil-thin moustache that he sported during an interview while speaking with the media this week.
Moustache or not, Davis has been one of the standouts in the early portion of spring camp.
“He doesn’t look like he just stepped foot on a college campus,” said Warren, who will be a senior this season and is widely regarded as the leader of the Vols’ tight ends. “I think it’s kind of the best way to say he looks like he’s been in our program…The guy is impressive just for being his age and just getting on campus.”
Davis was a mid-term enrollee for the Vols after signing with UT in December. The former four-star prospect from Collins High School in Suwanee, Ga., could fill a key role for Tennessee. The Vols relied on Warren and former Vol Princeton Fant last season. Now, Fant is gone and, along with transfer McCallan Castles, Davis is competing for playing time. Both have been impressive. However, the strongest early reviews from camp have been about Davis.
“Whenever he’s out there, I think people are kind of surprised by how big he is,” Warren said. “He just looks like a good football player.”
Davis admitted this week that he had plenty of work to do before he’s ready to be depended on. Davis was mostly a receiver in high school, so transitioning to a true tight end role in college has been challenging, especially managing himself in the tackle box amongst defensive linemen and linebackers. That’s where Alec Abeln has stepped in. The newly hired tight ends coach has a history of working with offensive linemen.
“Being able to have him as my tight end coach, that’s definitely an advantage when working in the box, because he knows the box so well,” Davis said.
Davis clearly knows his role. He also knows that he needs to stay away from a barbershop to keep Warren pleased. The moustache trend may continue as other position players have said they might follow suit. Warren doth protest.
“It’s just a tight end thing and all the guys are like, ‘Dude, I might shave one now,” Warren said with a smile. “I’m like, ‘Nope, you’re not allowed to. Tight ends only.”