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How One Early Enrollee Is Already Impressing Josh Heupel

Josh Heupel
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel. Photo via Tennessee Athletics on YouTube.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel raved about the initial results that he is getting from Tennessee’s 15 early enrollees from the 2023 recruiting class. From quarterback Nico Iamaleava to linebacker Arion Carter, there’s plenty to be impressed with.

One player, though, has already stood out to Heupel specifically – 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver Nathan Leacock.

As one of Tennessee’s early enrollees, the Raleigh, North Carolina native has had the opportunity to participate in the Vols’ bowl practices.

“He’s long, he’s athletic, he’s already made plays out on the practice field,” Heupel said about Leacock on Wednesday. “Highly competitive. The thing I loved about him so far is just his ability to take a rep, take coaching, and then incorporate that into his next rep. That’s what you’re looking for in your young guys.”

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While Leacock and the rest of Tennessee’s early enrollee players won’t be preparing to suit up in the Orange Bowl, this is still a very advantageous time in their early football careers. The young players learn about the speed of the game, the style of Tennessee, as well as the ins and outs of the program from their new teammates.

“For the guys that are here, right now currently, Nico [Iamaleava] included, you’re not going to walk into the back end of the season, learn an entire playbook, and know what to do,” Josh Heupel said on Wednesday. “You get a chance to sit in meetings, you get a chance to go out there and do a lot of individual work, get a chance to compete in some one-on-one situations. As much as anything, I think they learn the tempo of the game, they learn what it feels like to be a college athlete. I think it creates urgency in the way that they prepare when they get back to campus.”

Nathan Leacock is Tennessee’s fifth-highest-ranked commit from the 2023 class and is the third-highest-ranked early enrollee that is currently with the team. Leacock was rated by 247Sports as a four-star player, the No. 107 player in the nation, and the No. 18 wide receiver in the class.

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