KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Vols linebacker Elijah Herring was a three-star prospect coming out of high school, but UT linebackers coach, Brian-Jean Mary, sees much more potential out of the Murfreesboro native.

“He’s a super mature kid, and even when he makes mistakes, he’s one of those kids that comes to the sideline (and) before you can correct him, he’ll tell you what you did wrong,” said Jean-Mary. “When kids do that, you know it means something to them. There is a really really good chance that he’s gonna catch on sooner than later.”

Jean-Mary says the next couple of weeks are key in whether he sees the field at Neyland Stadium.

“That’s the hardest part coming out of high school is just learning the speed of the game,” said Jean-Mary. “The speed at which you have to be able to adjust tackling bigger guys, getting off of offensive linemen that are gonna be more athletic and obviously a lot larger than what he played against in high school.”

Regardless, Herring is adding depth to a position that struggled with numbers last year.

“It was really just trying to survive the days,” said Jean-Mary. “It wasn’t the idea of trying to get better and progressing. We really couldn’t get that because we had guys out or injured. Fast forward to now, it’s a night and day difference.”

Jean-Mary joked during his presser that some of the media members could’ve suited up for the team at linebacker last year. The linebackers coach obviously feels that’s not longer the case.