Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Highly Touted Notre Dame Tight End Transfer Commits To Tennessee

Photo via Staes’ X/ @HStaes13

Tennessee football has officially kicked off its 2024 transfer portal class.

Notre Dame tight end transfer Holden Staes committed to the Vols on Friday night, On3 first reported. Staes is one of the most highly touted prospects in the transfer portal, committing to Tennessee over a top group that included Georgia, Oklahoma and Washington.

The sophomore tight end visited Tennessee over the weekend before visiting Washington and Georgia earlier this week. Staes had a visit scheduled to Oklahoma for this weekend before cancelling it and committing to play for Josh Heupel and his staff.

The 6-foot-4, 242-pound tight end ranks as the No. 15 transfer and the No. 1 tight end transfer in the country according to the 247sports transfer rankings.

At Notre Dame, Staes played in 11 games as a freshman before playing 11 games as a sophomore in which he earned a much larger role in the Fighting Irish’s offense. Last season, the Atlanta native 15 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns as a serious red zone threat in Notre Dame’s offense.

More From RTI: Cooper Mays Returning To Tennessee For Super Senior Season

Staes earned a a 60.6 PFF grade at Notre Dame as a sophomore. As a reference point, Tennessee tight ends Jacob Warren and McCallan Castles earned a 60.7 and 65.0 PFF grade respectively last season.

But both Castles and Warren are out of eligibility which made Tennessee’s pursuit of Staes so important. The Vols return talented freshman tight end Ethan Davis and the rising sophomore will likely be a big part of Tennessee’s offense next season. However, blocking is Davis’ weakness and adding another tight end, ideally a more physical one, was important for the Vols.

Head coach Josh Heupel and tight ends coach Alec Abeln did just that by beating out a College Football Playoff team and two other top end SEC schools for Staes’ services.

Staes becomes the first transfer to commit to Tennessee this cycle. While the Vols have emphasized returning key upperclassmen from last year’s team, they will still likely add at least a handful more players from the portal. Ten different Tennessee football players have entered the transfer portal to this point in the offseason.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us