KNOXVILLE – Butch Jones continues to excel on the recruiting trail.
He continued his early success in the 2014 class and his impressive streak of landing tight ends on Tuesday night with the commitment of Daniel Helm, ranked as one of the top tight ends in the nation by multiple recruiting services.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect out of Chatham, Ill., becomes the 10th commitment in Jones’ second recruiting class in Knoxville and continues to propel the Vols up the early national recruiting rankings.
“Fluid route runner with good body control and excellent ball skills,” wrote Scout.com analyst Allen Trieu in a scouting report. “Catches passes at their highest point and does a great job of adjusting to passes in the air. Does come in as an in-line tight end and gives good effort as a blocker, but still has to fill out and get stronger.”
Helm chose the Vols over more than a dozen offers that included Michigan, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Nebraska. He had 44 receptions for 810 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior at Glenwood High School.
How he fits: Helm is set to join a rapidly-growing group of tight ends joining the Vols in the next two years. In just five months on the job, Jones has either signed or landed commitments from four different tight ends and also moved sophomore Justin King to the position during spring practice.
Helm is the second tight end commitment in the 2014 class, joining Ethan Wolf, who committed to Jones recently. UT signed two tight ends – A.J. Branisel and junior college prospect Woody Quinn – in the 2013 class.
King, junior Brendan Downs and redshirt freshman Justin Meredith are the other scholarship tight ends who are projected to be on the roster in 2014 when Helm joins. That would give UT seven scholarship tight ends on the roster by the 2014 season if all remain on the team.
Jones utilizes one and two tight end formations, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for them to get on the field. Downs and Quinn will graduate after 2014, giving Helms and the younger tight ends more potential opportunities for playing time at that point.
ESPN.com: NR yet
Rivals.com: 4-star, 6th best TE in the nation, 206th best player in the nation
Scout.com: 4-star, 4th best TE in the nation
247Sports.com: 3-star, 18th best TE in the nation
247Sports.com Composite: 4-star, 7th best TE in the nation
Tennessee’s 2014 commitments (247Sports Composite ranking)
TE Daniel Helm (4-star)
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga