Heading to 'Big D'

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As verbal commitments come earlier in the recruiting process and with social media being what it is today, players heading to the same university are building relationships several weeks before stepping foot onto campus together.

That holds true for Tennessee, which had 13 verbal commitments before the Volunteers even kicked off the 2011 season.

That chemistry building will get a slight boost before the new year hits as four future Vols will be playing in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.

Placekicker George Bullock, wide receiver Jason Croom, quarterback Nathan Peterman and outside linebacker Otha Peters have all accepted invitations to play in the game, which is being held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Dec. 29 at 6 p.m.

"I am very excited to be playing in it," said Bullock, who also kicked in the Toyota East-West All-Star Classic in Jefferson City, Tenn.

Bullock, Croom and Peterman will suit up for the East team, while Peters will take the field for the West.

"It's really exciting," Peters said. "I'm read to play with and against those other good players."

Wide receiver Jason Croom is one of four future Vols playing together in Dallas.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
No other incoming recruit played as late into the calendar as Peterman, and he is one of over a half dozen expected to enroll in January.

"It's awesome," said Peterman, who led Bartram Trail (Fla.) High School to the FHSAA Class 6A semifinals before losing 46-38 to eventual champion Armwood. "To play in that new stadium and get the experience of the whole week is definitely a huge blessing!"

The chemistry between a quarterback and a wide receiver is something that takes time and can prove to be an advantage once it's obtained. "Peterman-to-Croom" could be a household phrase by the time their careers on The Hill are complete.

Croom, a Georgia native, is excited about heading to the Lone Star State.

"I think it's great!" Croom said. "Not a lot of people are getting this same opportunity and I'm grateful to know I get the chance to not only play in the Dallas Cowboys' stadium, but I also get to play with some of my future teammates."

Other Vols that have suited up for the Offense-Defense include Cameron Clear, Lennon Creer, Marlin Lane, Ted Meline, David Oku and Darris Sawtelle.

Two more Tennessee commits are scheduled to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Drae Bowles will strap up for the East and LaDarrell McNeil for the West.

Justin Meredith and Dalton Santos are a pair of commitments named Under Armour All-Americans. They will play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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