In every recruiting classes there are a handful of prospects who could play on either offense or defense when they get to college.
Tennessee’s LaTrell Bumphus is one of those guys.
Players with the ability to move like he can at his size — the 17-year-old freshman looks every bit of the 6-foot-3 and 258 pounds at which he’s listed — don’t exactly grow on trees.
Recruiting and signing such athletes is hard enough as it is, but for two-way prospects college coaches also have to pick the right position, otherwise their development could suffer by even just one position change.
Bumphus was either going to be a tight end or defensive end for the Vols, but all parties determined pretty early on he was going to begin his career on offense.
“I didn’t have to push him at all,” offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Larry Scott said after Sunday’s second preseason practice.
Apparently Scott didn’t have to fend off Tennessee’s defensive coaches either, as was the case last year with receiver Tyler Byrd.
“Not at all,” Scott said. “There’s a lot that goes into the evaluation process. He was a project of mine, and every time I got my hands on him in a camp situation, it was enough to make me believe that he could develop and grow into that position and be a true wide tight end.”
Rated a three-star prospect and ranked a top-500 overall prospect and top-15 player in the state of Tennessee in the 2017 class according to the 247Sports Composite, Bumphus starred at Hardin County High School in Savannah, Tenn., as a two-way player, but he was ranked positionally by 247Sports as a defensive end.
It was determined not too long after he committed to the home-state Vols last summer, though, that he would be a tight end.
“You’re talking about a 6-foot-4, 260-pound freshman that can run and bend like a 220-pound guy,” Scott said, almost…