Chris Brazzell: Tennessee has 'a lot of dogs' at wide receiver

IMG_3593by:Grant Ramey04/17/24


With The End Of Spring Ball, Volquest Offers Their Big Picture Takeaways I Tennessee Football I Gbo

Chris Brazzell II knows exactly what he’s up against in the Tennessee wide receiver room. The Tulane transfer wide receiver never shied away from joining a position group that might be the deepest head coach Josh Heupel has ever had. 

“We got a lot of dogs on the team,” Brazzell said Saturday after the Orange & White Game. “Bru McCoy, Squirrel White, Kaleb Webb, just mixing me in with those guys gonna be fun.”

As much as anything, it’s opportunity to learn and to get better. He fit right in during the spring game at Neyland Stadium, catching a 71-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, giving the Orange team the go-ahead points in the 21-14 win.

Chris Brazzell last season: 44 catches, 771 yards, 5 TDs

“Coming in a room like this, being able to learn from guys like Bru, that just betters you,” Brazzell said. “Having to come up every day and compete betters you. And then playing for an offensive-minded coach like Heup, our OC, and just a run-and-gun offense just made sense to me.”

Mike Matthews, the five-star freshman receiver who headlined Tennessee’s 2024 recruiting class, flashed on Saturday, too. He caught a 63-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first half, tying the game at 14-all.

“I think we just got a lot in our receiver room,” sophomore starter Nico Iamaleava said. “A lot more more receiver depth than we’ve had before. And then you add the size to it, a lot of young guys that can play up, like Mike Matthews, Braylon Staley

“It’s fun to see this receiver room grow to what it has become and I’m excited to go out there and play with those guys.”

‘If you play receiver, you want to play in an offense like this’

Brazzell caught 44 passes for 711 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games as a sophomore at Tulane last season, leading to interest from at least 38 schools once he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal

At first, the transition to Tennessee’s offense was difficult — wider splits, the ball being snapped just seconds after being set. He has since settled in, though.

“I think we got the fastest offense in the nation,” Brazzell said. “Now I’m used to it, I’m accustomed to it, so it feels normal to me now.”

He described himself as feeling “really confident” leaving spring practice, 

“I think I’m getting better,” Brazzell said. 

And he knows he picked the right offense to help him do just that.

“It’s a fast tempo and it’s more like a run-and-gun offense,” Brazzell said. “If you play receiver, you want to play in an offense like this, so I’m thankful to be here.”

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