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Week One X-Factor: TE Dominick Wood-Anderson

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Tennessee’s new tight end will carry a big stick on Saturday

Southern Miss v Tennessee
Jarrett Guarantano will be looking DWA’s way a lot against WVU
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Even though the Mountaineers were stout against opposing tight ends in 2017 - they haven’t faced off against a tight end such as Dominick Wood-Anderson.

One of the new Vols in 2018, Wood-Anderson was the number eight overall JUCO prospect and the number one tight end in the country. Hailing out of Arizona Western College, Wood-Anderson expects big things during his time in Tennessee.

“I just believe in (Tennessee) coach (Jeremy) Pruitt. I feel like he’s going to turn things around, and I wouldn’t mind being a part of something like that.” - Dominick Wood-Anderson, via govols247.com

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound player will be a nightmare for opposing defenses, especially one with a very questionable front seven (or front six) like West Virginia employs.

WVU does have David Long Jr. who is one of the most underrated linebackers in the country, but will he be enough to stop Wood-Anderson?

A lot of this depends on how the Vols find success on the offensive side of the ball. It’s believed that their most obvious path is to run the ball, then go off of play-action to offset West Virginia’s aggressiveness up front.

Considering how terrible the Mountaineers’ run defense was in 2017, this is a very feasible plan of attack. Wood-Anderson would be perfect to release down the seam or over the middle on play-action, using his athleticism and big body to help him make plays.

This will be Jarrett Guarantano’s second year playing quarterback, so it would be natural to assume he will look DWA’s way early and often like most young quarterbacks do with their tight ends.

Guarantano also had decent success when throwing to tight ends in 2017 and that was with a group that is nowhere near Wood-Anderson’s level of athleticism, thus making it easier for Guarantano to throw to him a lot this season.

There is also the mystery of what Tyson Helton’s offense will look like overall. USC used Tyler Petite often in 2017 so the expectation would be the same for Wood-Anderson at the minimum.

It should be a fun coming out party to watch on Saturday.

Week one expectation: 6 rec, 80yds, 1 TD