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Tennessee Football TE Commitment Jonathan Echols Flips to USF

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Tennessee football has been hit by flip season, and at a position they likely would rather not have.

Four-star tight end Jonathan Echols has flipped his commitment to USF. Echols, who was close to former Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh, has decided to follow the coach.

Echols has been committed to Tennessee since July 2022.

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The flip from the 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end hits the Vols in a position of need. Both Jacob Warren and McCallan Castles are both out of eligibility.

Alec Abeln’s group had one of the most productive seasons from the tight end position in recent Tennessee memory. It was orchestrated by veterans Warren and Castles.

That leaves Tennessee’s tight end room with upcoming sophomores Ethan Davis and Emmanuel Okoye. Okoye is still learning how to play football, hailing from overseas. He also was walking around with a cast on his wrist following the Vols’ season finale.

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Davis is a pass-catching tight end who shined in the Orange and White game. His connection with Nico Iamaleava was evident in the game, where Davis also suffered a broken collarbone.

Tennessee is hosting transfer portal tight end Holden Staes for a visit this weekend.

Echols ranks as the No. 179 prospect overall in the 2024 class, and the No. 13 tight end in the class. He is from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Andrew Ivins of 247Sports compares Echols to Noah Fant of the Seattle Seahawks.

“Has the testing numbers and athletic profile that scouts covet. Initially was graded out as an EDGE, but has made it very clear that he views himself as a tight end on Saturdays and not a pass rusher,” Ivins wrote.

“Quickly made a name for himself during his first semester at IMG Academy, posting a laser-timed 4.8 in the 40-yard dash to go along with a 4.5 short shuttle and a 120-inch broad jump at the national powerhouse’s annual Pro Day. Spent the bulk of his junior campaign working as an h-back and jumbo slot receiver in a run-heavy attack, but did line up attached every now and then. Initial burst combined with a longer stride allows him to cover a ton of ground.

“Not exactly polished as a route runner, but knows how to get to his spots and slip underneath defenders as he crosses the field. Hands have improved over the past six months or so, but extra work on the Jugs machine will help. Must also eventually add mass to a slender frame if he’s going to move defenders out of the way at the Power Five level. Overall, should be viewed as one of the more unique prospects in the 2024 cycle. Will likely get a chance to play offense at the school of his choice, but ceiling might ultimately be highest on defense with his length (81-inch wingspan) and balance. NFL upside.”

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