Cherry sticking with Butch Jones

Cecil Cherry was the star of the stat sheet Friday night in Frostproof, Florida. Unfortunately for the 2015 linebacker and his team, they lost 21-16, but it certainly wasn't because of the defense.

Against Tampa (Fla.) Tampa Catholic, Cecil Cherry had nine tackles, a forced fumble, and sacked the Crusaders' quarterback to give Frostproof a safety. The four-star linebacker was happy with his performance, but disappointed in the loss.

"I feel good, but then I'm still hurting a little bit for the team. On defense, we did our thing, but offense, our team needs to learn how to fight and push through things," he said.

"Every night, I have to be a leader. Even though I'm committed, I say I'm the same as everybody else."

The Tennessee commitment will visit Knoxville when the Volunteers welcome Auburn next month, and he's excited to attend his first Tennessee home football game.

"It's going to be rocking and it's going to be loud, the biggest stadium in the SEC. I'm ready to see how that is," he said.

"A lot of ‘Rocky Top.' I love it."

Other programs are and will continue to recruit the talented athlete, but as long as head coach Butch Jones is at Tennessee, that's where Cherry's pledge will stay.

"I believe in (head) coach (Butch) Jones as a head coach and a leader," Cherry said.

"You know you always have to have a backup plan, but I'm going to follow Coach Jones wherever he goes. (Linebackers coach Tommy) Thigpen, I love him, and (running backs) coach (Robert) Gillespie and the whole defensive staff, I just love it. I love the atmosphere, I love how the city is, and I love how the fans are behind their players, win or lose."

The 6-foot-1, 224-pound playmaker says he hears from a lot of schools, especially Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State, Alabama, and Wisconsin.

"I get letters from everybody, like forty letters a day," he said.

Besides the Tennessee-Auburn game, this season, Cherry plans to visit Florida State for the Miami game and Alabama when they play Tennessee.

Stay tuned to FOX Sports and Scout.com for the latest.


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