Impact Analysis: Miles Campbell
Throughout the coronavirus-induced recruiting moratorium, Tennessee has loaded up on versatile playmakers in the 2021 class.
Add another name to the list Monday.
South Pauling (Ga.) tight end Miles Campbell committed to the Vols over more than 25 offers, including finalists Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and North Carolina.
The 3-star prospect is 6-3, 230 pounds and has been clocked in the 4.6-range in the 40-yard-dash.
Campbell becomes the 22nd commit in Tennessee’s class — and 15th verbal pledge since the COVID-19 shutdown.
Here’s a detailed look at what his decision means…
“Miles Campbell is a big athlete. He’s a hybrid. That new-age tight end people like to call them. He can flex out. He’s not the in-line blocker but he’s a guy that creates mismatches. He has a big catch radius. He has very good straight-line speed. He’s a guy who’s played a lot of receiver. He’s a good route runner. He can fight for the football. He’s a guy who’s gotten a lot stronger in the last year or year and a half. He was in that 200-pound mark then. People were asking, ‘Was he a big receiver or a flex tight end?’ He’s definitely grown into that flex tight end. He’s over 230 pounds now. Much more solid frame. Much more physical and much more aggressive.
"I think he’s taken on that confidence role, too. He thinks he can beat that guy whoever is covering him. Whether it be a defensive back or a linebacker. I like his upside. I like his potential. He needs to become a little more explosive. He can expand his route tree and can improve as a blocker, both in-line and on the perimeter, in the SEC. But what he does and what Tennessee wants him to do, and that’s create mismatches, get vertical, run that seam route and be a weapon in the red zone, he does very well.”
— Chad Simmons, Rivals analyst
HOW CAMPBELL WILL FIT IN WITH THE VOLS?
While Tennessee has added guys like Roc Taylor and Julian Nixon to the class — both bigger wideouts who could grow into a flex tight end role — Campbell already is that player.
The Peach State native added close to 30 pounds in the last 18 months and had a stronger junior season as a true flex tight end, catching 54 passes for 620 yards and seven touchdowns.
Jim Chaney loves to utilize 12-personnel sets and moving his tight ends around — see Dominick Wood-Anderson and Austin Pope — in various formations. While Wood-Anderson didn’t develop into a prolific receiving threat, Campbell could be that guy.
Campbell will enter a tight end room that’s fairly open next season, as Pope will have graduated and it’s unclear in 2020 who the No. 2 tight end will even be. While a redshirt season is still likely (and fairly standard at that position) Campbell still has a chance to work himself into the the mix early.
WHAT THE DECISION MEANS FOR TENNESSEE?
The Vols missed on a couple marquee targets last cycle (Arik Gilbert and Darnell Washington), but Chaney and Joe Osovet quickly identified Campbell as a priority for the current class.
By beating out FSU, N.C. State and others for Campbell, they’ve added another versatile athlete to the class while filling a key need. They’re not done recruiting the position, either. Alabama athlete Trinity Bell is set to make a decision soon, with Tennessee a favored pick over Auburn and Florida. Bell, a 6-7, 260-pound two-sport star, could play defensive end, but he wants to start his career at tight end.
The Vols are also heavily in the mix for in-state standout Hudson Wolfe. The Top 50 prospect from Hardin County (Tenn.) has visited Rocky Top countless times in the last few years, including a stop just before the shutdown. Tennessee is battling Ohio State and Ole Miss for Wolfe, but has surged of late.