With plenty of followers, Wood-Anderson ready to lead Tennessee's TE room
A week before taking his official visit to Tennessee last December, Dominick Wood-Anderson shot off a since-deleted tweet that sent the Internet into a tizzy.
The nation’s No. 1 junior college tight end from Arizona Western C.C. was simply having a little fun while he was bored in an airport, but little did Wood-Anderson know, Vol Nation responded in mass.
Within 24 hours, Wood-Anderson went from around 3,200 followers to more than 21,000. Tennessee fans flooded his mentions, and even future teammate Tyler Byrd chimed in.
If only way you come is if you get followers I don’t want you here 🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) December 8, 2017
After a memorable visit on Rocky Top a week later, Wood-Anderson came through with his promise and signed with Tennessee over Alabama, the perceived favorite, Texas A&M and Oregon. His boost in followers had nothing to do with his decision, Wood-Anderson insisted, but the response by the Vol fans left him speechless.
“That was wild,” he told VolQuest.
“The whole thing, it wasn’t even supposed to be serious. It was a joke. I was just going to see about the fans’ love and I was just sitting in the airport and bored. I wanted to see where it goes and then, man. It caught me off guard. Even when I got there, the fans showed a lot of love.”
Whether it was due to Twitter or a close connection with tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer, who was previously recruiting Wood-Anderson to Alabama, the Vols are very happy the 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end ended up on Rocky Top. Wood-Anderson officially completed his online course work last week and enrolled at Tennessee on Thursday.
So why did Wood-Anderson pick the Vols after being previously committed to Texas and having very strong flirtations with Alabama, Texas A&M, Oregon and Louisville?
“It just felt like home. There was no big explanation or story really, I just felt comfortable after one visit,” he said.
“I believe in the new coaching staff and I know they’re going to do big things.”
Wood-Anderson was easily the crown jewel of Tennessee’s early signing period, and despite not being able to enroll in January, remains a key plug-and-play piece for the Vols this fall. He’s physical, athletic, fast and can make plays both in and outside of the box. During the post-NSD speaking tour, offensive coordinator Tyson Helton called Wood-Anderson “a prototypical NFL tight end.” Wood-Anderson is coming to Tennessee with the mindset of playing a year, maybe two, and getting to the league.
“Exactly. That’s the plan,” he said.
While finishing his classwork back home in San Diego, the junior college signee reshaped his body with Olympic trainer Les Spellman and watched film of Tennessee’s practice and spring game. The second-team JUCO All-American is eager to get to work after seeing how much the Vols used the tight ends during the Orange & White Game.
“I told them they actually surprised me with how much they used the tight ends. I loved it,” he said, noting that Eli Wolf led all players in receptions.
“I don’t think people even understand that even though they were tons of catches around, they were running routes and plays that I liked. Even the blocking assignments and stuff like that. I know that I’m going to fit in that system really good.”
In 2017, Wood-Anderson had 31 receptions for 258 yards and two touchdowns. He was flexed-out wide quite a bit, but he’s ready to be ultized everywhere as a key weapon in Helton’s offense this fall.
“I’ve been talking to JG (Jarret Guarantano) and trying to do as much as I can here working on the playbook before I get there. I can’t to get in there and really go all football,” he said.
“I want to do it all. Block my ass off and go out for passes and make plays. This is the SEC though so you have to block.”
|Height/Weight||2017 Stats||Rivals Ranking|
31 catches for 258 yards, 2 TDs
Quick Hitters with Dominick Wood-Anderson…
“Jason Witten is one of my favorite players. Ever. Tight end and I’m a Dallas fan. I know all types of stuff about Jason Witten. I’ve studied him a lot. He’s old school, hard-nose blocking. He gets in the trenches there and does it all. I also like Travis Kelce, watching how he gets in and out of his routes so fast.”
An ideal dinner party group?
“Floyd Mayweather, 2Pac and Deion Sanders.”
What’s on your current playlist?
“I listen to all types of music, but I’ve been into R&B a lot lately. Like ‘80s, ‘90s stuff. Genuine. New Edition. On gameday though, it just depends on what game. If I’m going against ‘Bama, I’m playing Meek Mill.
Movies or TV?
“I like Netflix. Movies for me, Friday Night Lights, Bad Boys 2.”