KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — When Jacob Warren decided to return to Tennessee for a sixth and final season, it gave tight ends coach Alec Abeln some relief.

“I started sleeping a lot better. I mean it changes everything in terms of you knew that you had at least one guy who you could count on to go to war with, and at that point just trying to find the pieces of who else was going to be there with him. But man, it really made it easier for us,” Abeln said.

Warren is primed to take the next step this year. The potential the Farragut alum has continues to be unlocked.

“I think he’s gotten better with just body control in the route. I think he’s going to surprise a lot of people in space this year and I think he’s gotten a lot better at that stuff just from a fundamental level. He’s got to continue to get stronger, continue to work on every aspect of his game. The biggest thing to me is just playing with more confidence,” Abeln said. 

Warren’s leadership has already made a mark with the younger players. Freshman tight end Ethan Davis had nothing but admiration for Warren.

“You want to be like Jacob Warren. You want your son to be like Jacob Warren,” Davis said.