When Cameron Clear got kicked off the football team for stealing from other University of Tennessee athletes, it left the Tennessee Volunteers without a major weapon in the running game.
Clear was essentially a soft-handed tight end in an offensive lineman's body who could help the Vols in the running and passing games. On Saturday, UT believes it got a kid in this year's class who has the potential to be a similar player. Inglewood (Calif.) tight end Chauntez Jackson -- a 6-foot-4, 245-pound athlete -- chose Tennessee over Arizona, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State.
Jackson has recently emerged as Tennessee's top target at a major position of need, especially after JUCO tight end Beau Sandland informed all the Southeastern Conference coaches recruiting him two weeks ago that he would no longer consider teams from our conference because he wanted to enroll in January, and SEC schools would not accept an online math class he had to take in order to graduate in December.
While many teams have been recruiting Jackson to play defensive end, the Vols really love his blocking and physicality at the tight end position. He also has surprised numerous coaches with his soft hands and really impressed UT tight ends coach Charlie Coiner when he went to evaluate him. According to GoVols247 writer Ryan Callahan, Jackson received his offer from UT the day after Clear was dismissed from the team. He has been UT's clear-cut tight end target for a while now.
Jackson still has to take the ACT and still has to visit Knoxville, but he has already given his verbal pledge to UT coaches. He is a considerably important recruit for the Vols who needed a tight end in this class since they are losing Mychal Rivera to the NFL and H-back Ben Bartholomew as well. The Vols will be left with Brendan Downs, Justin Meredith, H-back Justin King and Greg King -- who may never crack the rotation -- at the position.
Jackson is a universal three-star prospect who runs a 4.7 40-yard dash and has the frame large enough to carry 260-270 pounds. Welcome to UT!