- Advertisement -

Tennessee TE Jacob Warren on playing with Vols’ QB Nico Iamaleava: “If I could come back, I would.”

- Advertisement -


Even the most casual Tennessee football fan knows tight end Jacob Warren. Maybe you recognize his face from posters around Knoxville. Perhaps you have tried his “Sauce 87” at Craven Wings. Or, if you’re reading this, you probably catch his weekly interviews on the Vol Report. With the win over Vanderbilt last weekend, Warren closed the regular-season chapter of his collegiate career. On this week’s Vol Report, Warren reflects on his last season as a Volunteer, including the one game he wishes he could do over and what he thinks about next year’s squad. 

Last Saturday, Warren played his last game at Neyland Stadium. He could have opted out of the 2023 season altogether and entered the NFL Draft, but his decision to return for his last year of eligibility was an easy one. “I think the culture (of the program) was it for me. The culture not just of the team but of the tight end room,” said Warren. “I knew what I was getting and that made me very comfortable. I knew it was going to be positive. I knew that it would help me grow as a human being.” 

Was there ever a point during the year where Warren regretted his choice to suit up in orange and white for one last season? Not once. “I don’t remember a time that I was sitting there like, ‘What am I doing?’” Warren recaIled. “I truthfully put that behind me and never thought about it. It would be hard for me to deal with thinking about the what ifs.” 

- Advertisement -

Speaking of what ifs – hypothetically, if Warren had another year of eligibility left, would the prospect of playing with potential starting QB Nico Iamaleava entice him to don the Tennessee jersey again? It most definitely would be a factor. In fact, it was playing alongside current QB Joe Milton III that influenced Warren’s decision to stay with the Vols’ one more year. “It was extremely promising for me to be able to come back and play with Joe just because of the talent that he is… and he’s going to continue to be extremely successful again, regardless of how this season went.” 

“If I could come back, I would,” said Warren. “I would love to play with Nico a year, and be able to have a whole year of experience with him.”

For all the successes Warren and his team had in 2023, there’s one game he wishes he could get another shot at. “Alabama. I think that that’s one where you feel really good in the beginning, the first half of that game… and you get what it feels like to have success there,” remembered Warren. “Unfortunately, you can’t (go back).” 

- Advertisement -

Warren isn’t the type to dwell too much on the past anyhow. So, when asked his predictions for the 2024 Tennessee Volunteers, he kept a positive forward focus. “For all these guys that make up the room, that’s going to be the time for them to show what they can do… and that they’re willing to progress. They’re willing to get better because the game is very unforgiving.” 

“You have to continue to get better,” continued Warren, “It’s going to depend on how much they go to work and whoever steps up and is able to demand a high standard. Then I think that they’ll be just as talented, if not more talented than we were this year.” 

What kind of legacy does Warren and the 2023 team leave? Some say this is the group that brought a much-needed relevancy back to the Tennessee football program. That’s something that Warren is extremely pleased with. “We came here to play ball for this university and have a lot of pride in wearing the T,” said Warren. “People aren’t questioning whether we’ve got talent and whether we’re going to play four quarters. I’m very proud and happy that I was able to have my hand in it and do the things I did to get it there.”

- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Podcast

- Advertisement -

More Podcasts

- Advertisement -