KNOXVILLE – Tennessee head coach Butch Jones enjoyed his first Tennessee basketball game on Friday night as the Vols took on Memphis, but he was doing some work for the football program as well.
Jones received a commitment from offensive lineman Dylan Wiesman of Cincinnati, Ohio, Friday night. The 6-4, 300-pound lineman was a commitment to the University of Cincinnati when Jones was the head coach of the Bearcats.
Wiesman is a utility player who played all five offensive line positions at Colerain High School.
“His strength is as a run blocker and he can be a physical and productive player in that phase,” ESPN.com wrote in a scouting report. “He displays solid flexibility working from a three-point stance. He fires out low and can deliver a good pop on contact. He flashes the ability to get into defenders and roll his hips and with a good blocking base and a tenacious style he can create push and drive defenders off the ball.”
Wiesman is Tennessee’s 17th commitment and the fifth player to join Tennessee’s 2013 class since Jones took over. He chose the Vols over offers from Ohio State, Cincinnati, West Virginia and others.
ESPN.com: 3-star; 43rd best guard nationally
Rivals.com: 3-star; 34rd best guard nationally
Scout.com: 2-star; 92nd best guard nationally
247Sports.com: 2-star; 135th best tackle nationally
Nooga.com analysis: At first glance, his rankings and overall list of offers isn’t going to be too impressive to Tennessee fans.
Looking at the film, though, it's easy to see Wiesman does a lot of things well for a young offensive lineman. He fires off the ball low and hard, moves his feet, uses his hands relatively well and keeps blocking until the final whistle. He’ll have a little work to do in the weight room, but he appears to be fairly filled out for a high school player at this point.
He’s projected to play different positions by different recruiting services. He looks to be best suited to be a guard or center based off of his film. He doesn’t flash off the screen as a guy who will be an instant-impact type of player, but he could grow into a contributing role over time in Knoxville.
How he fits: The Vols are set on the offensive line in 2013 but could be in a bad spot as soon as 2014. Four of next year’s projected starters – James Stone, Zach Fulton, Alex Bullard and Ja’Wuan James – are rising seniors, while the fifth, Tiny Richardson, is a junior who may leave early.
They could be looking at a rebuilt offensive line the following season. A year after former coach Derek Dooley decided to take no offensive linemen in the 2012 class, Jones must scramble to find several who can be ready to contribute in a couple of years.
He’ll hope that Wiesman is one of those players. He’s the fourth offensive line commitment in this class, joining Dan Skipper, Brett Kendrick and Austin Sanders. Skipper is still considering his options, while Kendrick and Sanders are firm commitments to the Vols.
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football and basketball for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @Daniel_LewisCBS