Tennessee exceeds all expectations

Woody Quinn

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For 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end Woody Quinn athletics has been a bit of a journey. First it was off to Pepperdine to play indoor volleyball, then he went on to Santa Ana Junior college for football and now he is staring down the pipe of a Division I FBS football scholarship.

Quinn arrived in Knoxville, Tenn., for an official visit Friday afternoon and by Sunday afternoon he was blown away with what new head football coach Butch Jones and his staff had to offer.

"I think last night when we went into the game locker room, they have two locker rooms, which is, in volleyball at Pepperdine we had one small one, which is fine, that's all you need, last year at the school I was at we didn't even have one," Quinn replied when asked what was most impressive about his visit with the Vols.

After playing in front of crowds of hundreds in California, the big man couldn't believe his eyes when he ran into Neyland Stadium.

"Coach Graham, the running backs coach, read off the Maxim, obviously huge here and then we ran on the field and they had something going on the jumbotron like a pump-up video," he said. "It was really cool. I have never been in that stadium. I have never been in a stadium close to that big in my entire life. It was incredible — chills."

For Quinn, it is all about the people and while he never thought Tennessee would be a place for him he left Knoxville with a real vision of what the next few years of his life could look like.

"I think it is hard for it not to be appealing, but I think there is a little bit of temptation there — it is the SEC," Quinn said. "It is the best conference in football probably right now. You want to go there just because of that, but I want to go somewhere where I fit. I feel like I fit there. I don't know how it's not appealing. I can't imagine it on game day. If I actually go there I can't imagine what I am going to be feeling when I run out of the tunnel and see the stadium. That would be cool."

After being hosted by redshirt freshman quarterback Nathan Peterman, Quinn says that a decision could come as early as Monday evening after speaking with his family and letting the afterglow simmer a bit.

"I talked to the coaches and I am going to go home and discuss it with my parents and let it set in a little bit," he said. "I did not expect to do this at all. I didn't expect to potentially be considering, seriously, committing.

"This is a long way from home. It is kind of out of my comfort zone a little bit, but I think when it feels right it feels right. Probably in the next day or so. I am going to let it sit in when I fly, think about it, pray about it and talk with my parents. It could be pretty quick I guess."

Quinn finished his only season with Santa Ana with 15 catches for 252 yards and one touchdown.

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