Nashville, Tenn., Ensworth 2020 four-star defensive end Tyler Baron has had an up-close look at two different schools. Both are the result of two of his immediate family members.
Baron’s older brother, Woody Baron, played for Virginia Tech from 2013-16. His father is Patrick Abernathy, the University of Tennessee’s coordinator of high school relations. Between the two of them, the younger Baron has seen each school countless times.
Now Tyler (6-4, 245) is getting more and more into his own recruitment. He’s up to 13 offers, most recently from Florida State and Nebraska. While the Hokies and Volunteers are in play, they’re far from the only schools in contention.
“I definitely want to be somewhere I can be successful,” Tyler said. “Also, a school I can see myself being not only an athlete, but a student, too. I haven’t thought about a major yet.”
Still, Tyler said he’s learned plenty from his older brother, and still does. When Tyler was interviewed for this story, he was sitting at home with Woody.
“Definitely from talking to him, I’m just taking it slow, being in no rush,” Tyler said. “I remember it like it was yesterday, making trips with him. I remember traveling, but as far as the schools go, I’m not sure. It was definitely just getting a view from a family aspect, getting a feel for everything.”
Woody signed with Virginia Tech in the 2012 class, grayshirted, then played in 52 games over his career. Tyler said his brother has hinted a bit at his desire for him to join the Hokies, but hasn’t been too over the top.
“There’s been a few jokes but nothing serious,” Tyler said. “At the end of the day, it’s where I see myself playing and fitting in best.”
Tyler was last in Blacksburg March 24 to watch one of Virginia Tech’s spring practices. Over the past six years, he’s made countless visits, including tagging along on Woody’s recruiting visits.
“The way I saw everything, going through that, we have ties,” Tyler said. “It’d be an easy fit. I feel like they come with the same approach, but there’s definitely a few things they can add on because of that.”
Assistant coach Charley Wiles recruited Woody and is now the primary recruiter for Tyler, too. The relationship between Wiles and Tyler has been a bit different thanks to the longevity of it.
“I see him not really as a coach, but more of a friend, kind of,” Tyler said. “In a way, it’s more based off of me,...
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