January 13, 2013

Quinn builds rapport with Jones, Elder

Woody Quinn had no problem having one locker room or even sharing a locker room as a college volleyball player, but those experiences did little to prepare the junior college tight end for what he saw this weekend during an official visit to the University of Tennessee.

Quinn, a top target at a position of clear need for the Vols and new coach Butch Jones, raved about his weekend on Rocky Top before flying back cross-country Sunday afternoon.

"It was incredible, I think just mainly surreal for me to be able to go from volleyball to this. Never thought I would ever have this opportunity, so it was very fun," said Quinn, a gifted 6-foot-6, 260-pound athlete who had piqued interest of colleges across the country. "Obviously everything there speaks for itself and coach Jones and the staff out there is pretty incredible. It was was cool to see. Definitely worthwhile. I feel blessed.

"I think I'm pretty darn close to committing. Probably be figured out in the next day. Going to go home and talk to the parents. Haven't even talked to them, I think, since (Saturday). Haven't had a lot of time. But after talking to coach Jones and coach (Mark) Elder more and more, I think it just may be the right place for me. How they feel about me matches how I feel about them. So I feel very blessed. I think that could be where I end up going."

Quinn said he had several questions the coaching staff easily answered for him on his trip, and he also raved about the prospects' experiences Saturday night inside Neyland Stadium.

"I think just how they felt about me as far as recruiting. I was a little worried about that, just to see what they were going to do recruiting although coach Elder and I talked about that a lot. Just the straightforwardness from coach Jones, meeting with him one-on-one," Quinn explained. "I've seen him on TV but never really thought about doing that. Just kind of what he said about recruiting and where I stand for them was very cool to hear. That was about it, really. It was awesome to talk to him and I think what you see is what you get with those guys. They're pretty awesome."

So, too, Quinn gushed, was the trip inside Neyland Stadium.

"I think (Saturday) night we went into the game locker room. At Pepperdine we had one locker room for volleyball, which is fine. That's all we needed and last year we kind of split one at the school I was at. We went in last night to the stadium and they had, we sat down kind of in the media room with the Verizon Tennessee background. They had the jerseys of all their first-round draft picks in white and all the jerseys of the numbers we had worn in orange," Quinn shared. "Coach Graham read off the maxims of the game and we ran onto the field, had like a pump-up video on the Jumbotron. And I'd never been in that stadium. I'd never been in a stadium close to that big in my entire life. It was incredible. Chills. It was very cool. It was amazing."

Hosted by redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman, and spending plenty of time with junior quarterback Justin Worley and some of the Vols' other offensive linemen, Quinn raved about the insight those players provided into the new coaching staff. Of particular value to Quinn was his host, Peterman, because Peterman had been recruited by Jones & Co. previously at Cincinnati.

"Nathan Peterman, he was really cool. I'm glad they put me with him. He was very cool. I was with Nate Peterman a lot and Justin Worley and him are pretty good friends. I like him a lot. Spent time with (Allan) Posey, Kyler (Kerbyson), Brendan Downs, couple other guys," Quinn said. "[Peterman's perspective] was huge for me, too. They said even like him and Worley were like on a recruiting trip because they're still getting to know these coaches, too. I was also honored that we were kind of like their first actual visits. That meant a lot to me.

"Peterman said the things he had heard about from the guys at Cincinnati and they all loved him and had nothing but good things to say about him. My thing was kind of the people make the place, regardless of whether it's a DIII, II or I, I want to go where I fit best. It hink what you see is what you get. It was very cool to the see the people and I was very impressed by it."

While some prospects have talked about the intimidating nature of Neyland Stadium, Quinn said it would be hard for anyone not to relish that opportunity.

"I think it's hard for it not to be appealing. Although there is some temptation in that maybe it's the SEC and it's the best conference in football probably right now and you want to go there just because of that," Quinn said. "But again, I want to go somewhere I fit and feel like I fit there. Sure it's a bit intimidating and I can't imagine it on gameday, but to look at it as anything but a positive … I can't imagine it's anything but a positive. If I actually end up going there, I can't imagine what I'm going to feel when I run out of the tunnel or see the stadium full."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!