Vols QB Nico Iamaleava Showing High-Level Traits During Fall Camp Practices

Vols QB Nico Iamaleava Showing High-Level Traits During Fall Camp Practices

Nico Iamaleava Josh HeupelTennessee QB Nico Iamaleava and HC Josh Heupel. Photo by Rocky Top Insider/Ric Butler.

Despite being in his first fall camp with Tennessee, highly-touted freshman quarterback Nico Iamaleava has a good amount of experience under his belt with Josh Heupel’s offense already.

Ending the recruiting cycle as the No. 1 player according to On3 Sports, Iamaleava was an early enrollee with the Vols in December 2020. Iamaleava’s early arrival to Tennessee allowed him to participate in both Orange Bowl practices and spring camp workouts.

“You’ve heard me say that when they finish spring ball, when they come back for the beginning of training camp, they should be a different player. He’s a different player,” head coach Josh Heupel said about Iamaleava on Thursday.

Heupel spoke to the media after Tennessee’s behind-closed-doors scrimmage in Neyland Stadium on Thursday morning. During that press conference, Heupel noted that the coaching staff isn’t shying away from pushing Iamaleava into challenging situations.

“When you have to grow, you have to grow,” Heupel said about the method behind Iamaleava’s development. “You have to be pushed. When we install it, he’s running everything.”

Heupel specifically mentioned one trait from Iamaleava on Thursday that is impressive for a freshman.

“One of the things we talk about is not making the same mistake twice. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice,” Heupel said. “He learns from it. There was a rep yesterday as he was going through his reading progression. There was a tight window on the inside, he throws the ball and while he’s standing in the pocket, you can see him visually be like, ‘Hey man, I should’ve gotten to the next one outside.’ He’s intentional and has great work habits.”

More from RTI: Josh Heupel Developing Joe Milton’s Situational Game While Pushing Nico Iamaleava into Challenging Situations

Iamaleava has shown a high level of knowledge regarding the game and the offense, according to Heupel.

“He has great command and understanding of what we’re doing,” He understands protections. “He understands how he has to get us out of run-run checks, pass-run checks or whatever it might be. He hasn’t been perfect, but he’s grown.”

“He doesn’t make the same mistake twice. He learns from it.”

Tennessee HC Josh Heupel talks Nico Iamaleava’s development. pic.twitter.com/xiCv9Jo1lj

— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) August 10, 2023

Author: Ethan Moore