A prospect that the Volunteer play-caller will be keeping a close eye on during camp this summer is Max Staver.
Although they haven't had much communication since, the two met last summer during camp and Staver tripped back to middle Tennessee with some tips from the "intense" Chaney, including keeping a higher elbow during his release.
"He said my arm's good," Staver told InsideTennessee. "The problem with last year was I didn't have game film. I transferred to Brentwood Academy. Now, I have a couple offers. I'm probably going to go back to UT. Coach Chaney said, 'Your arm is ready. I've seen you make some good throws already.' It's mostly dropbacks. He wants to see me get about 6 yards or 7 yards on my five-step drop. I've been working on it.
"Even though we go from gun, I practice on it (drops) every day. A lot of my training this offseason was hip explosion and flexibility in the hips. On that first step of your drops you get 2 1/2 yards. It's getting better. It's coming along. My arm's doing great. We'll see where it goes from there."
Even though Auburn is his current favorite, he made it known that he would welcome an offer from the Vols.
"It'd be awesome. My sister goes to UT. My cousin graduated from UT. I've been to Knoxville a ton. I'm really familiar with it and the university. It'd be great," said Staver, who was born in Philadelphia, Penn., before his family set up shop in middle Tennessee.
|Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney has a lot of say in what quarterbacks get offers from Tennessee.|
"It's awesome," Staver said of suiting up with so many talented players. "It's so encouraging to know that I've got these guys at receiver, I've got these guys as linemen. You know they've got your back. With Graham, he's older than me and given me a lot of advice and helped me through this process. Me and Jalen, we're good friends and stay in touch. If he's going somewhere, sometimes I try to go with him. Same with C.J. But, it's great to have them, no doubt."
During the 2011 season, Staver made trips to Alabama, Arkansas, Louisville, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He ventured south to check out Auburn at the end of March after heading to both Mississippi State and Purdue. The right-hander wants to leave no stone unturned in terms of educating himself on the schools he's considering.
"It's huge," Staver said. "You're making a huge investment into your life, and it's going to set you up for your future. You need to know what you're getting into. I'm one of those guys, I wanted to see all my options. I want to strengthen relationships with coaches where I feel most comfortable, what fits me socially, academically and with football. It's definitely important to get around."
Brentwood Academy reached the TSSAA Div. II Class AA state quarterfinals last fall before being eliminated by Christian Brothers 37-34. Expectations are higher this year.
"We're extremely disciplined," Staver said. "We're in great condition. We're trying to up the ante in the weightroom. I think we've got another shot at state. We always do. But, more importantly, is just taking it one game at a time. Right now, all we're thinking about is Trinity."
That is Trinity (Ky.) High School, which finished ranked No. 1 in the country last season by FOX Sports/Scout.com. Few teams are afforded that type of challenge, and Staver suggests it will only help the Eagles get better.
"It makes you work, no doubt," he said. "You know you're getting into a war. They play with tenacity. They get after you. They're in great shape, and they play great fundamental football. It pushes you beyond what you would normally do. We've got to have the mindset of, 'We're going to go up there and take care of business because no matter about the rankings or anything like that, we're going to do it.'"
Staver started his prep career at Pope John Paul II before beginning his junior season at Brentwood Academy. Cody White, via Denison, Texas, is the new coach of the Eagles and will represent the fourth coach in as many years that Staver has played for.
"I've learned how to adjust," he said.
White steps foot onto BA's campus heavy with 17 years of experience in Texas' 5A and 4A classifications, including stops at Odessa-Permian (note the movie Friday Night Lights) and Dallas' Highland Park.
Last weekend, Staver took part in the Elite 11 Camp with 86 other signal-callers at Burford (Ga.) High School. Few campers did more for their stock than the Nashville resident.
Scout national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons said this of the 6-foot-5, 236-pounder's performance: "Staver looked good throughout this event. He looked better with his footwork, but his size, arm and accuracy stood out most. He has added a good bit of weight, his arm strength is better, and he displayed a lot of confidence on the field."