UAB to UT: Helton, Friend 'two big-time ball coaches'

UAB to UT: Helton, Friend 'two big-time ball coaches'

Football

UAB to UT: Helton, Friend 'two big-time ball coaches'

Tennessee’s offense will have continuity and familiarity during the 2018 season with offensive coordinator Tyson Helton and offensive line coach Will Friend.

Helton (quarterbacks) and Friend (offensive line) coached four years together at UAB from 2007-10 and were involved in the offense under offensive coordinator Kim Helton, Tyson’s dad.

Helton is no stranger of placing his ideas and blueprints on offenses including the last four seasons at Western Kentucky (2014-15) and USC (2016-17).

Ron Sigler, Director of Regional Recruiting for NCSA and National Speaker for Rivals Camp/Combines was on staff at UAB in 2012 as wide receivers coach under offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm. Sigler also coached alongside Helton, under Brohm at UAB, who was retained as running backs coach after a head coaching change from Neil Callaway to Garrick McGee. Friend had already departed to become Georgia’s offensive line coach following the 2010 season.

“Tyson is a big-time ball coach,” Sigler told Vols Wire.

“Tyson was Jeff Brohm’s offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky,” Sigler said. “So a lot of the same things that are happening there, mixed in with whatever they need to do in the SEC, I feel confident that Tyson can handle that.”

Sigler says Helton’s coaching, developing players and working with personnel that he has to work with this season “is in him.”

“Tyson, as far as an offensive mind, is one of the new age kind of guys,” Sigler said. “He can morph into anything and has a knowledge of a lot of things.

“You have two big-time ball coaches in Helton and Friend that have been in it for a long time that know a lot of good football. I don’t think there will be any issues there.”

Jeremy Pruitt spent a lot of time during spring practices teaching technique on the defensive end of the practice field while Helton and Friend taught technique and coached on the offensive end.

Pruitt building a staff from top-to-bottom of coaches that are familiar and have worked with each other, and that he trusts, is an area that Sigler feels will bode well for Tennessee.

“He (Pruitt) put this staff together that he trusts to mold the team off of him and his thought processes of what he wants it to be,” he said. “Pruitt has a lot of people on different levels that respect him. That will show in recruiting, connection with the players, the coaches, the whole deal.

“Pruitt, the intensity, the attention to detail, those kind of things that he brings to the table are going to be good for Tennessee.”

Helton and Friend’s UAB offensive stats

2010

  • 3,201 passing yards
  • 28 passing TDs
  • 14 interceptions
  • 1,873 rushing yards
  • 14 rushing TDs
  • 12 sacks allowed

2009

  • 2,352 passing yards
  • 22 passing TDs
  • 8 interceptions
  • 2,759 rushing yards
  • 17 rushing TDs
  • 21 sacks allowed

2008

  • 2,367 passing yards
  • 10 passing TDs
  • 16 interceptions
  • 2,027 rushing yards
  • 19 rushing TDs
  • 21 sacks allowed

2007

  • 2,584 passing yards
  • 15 passing TDs
  • 15 interceptions
  • 1,348 rushing yards
  • 6 rushing TDs
  • 18 sacks allowed

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