Croom 'excited' about Big Orange Country

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As top prospects bounce from campus to campus with National Signing Day on the horizon, one recruit who is solid with his pledge is Jason Croom.

The four-star wide receiver originally committed to Tennessee back on Aug. 18 and was back on campus this past weekend.

"I loved it," Croom said of his visit. "I fell in love with Tennessee even more. I talked with the coaches, the players, the other visitors."

Scout.com's 44th-ranked pass catcher in the country was all smiles at every question posed about the Volunteers and his excitement about what is going on in Knoxville radiated.

"Just the things coach (Derek) Dooley was saying (were exciting)," Croom said. "He said, 'You came in at a good time. We're about to take off.' It just got me excited about being there. I got to see a couple players work out. I can't wait to get in there with them."

One notable change has taken place since the 6-foot-5, 228-pounder decided to be a Vol with wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett retiring and Darin Hinshaw taking over.

"I talk to (Hinshaw) every week, though, and he's coming down next Tuesday (to visit). He desires for his receivers to be the best. We've got the same goals. I want to be the best," Croom said.

He was hosted by Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson, who is from Gainesville, Ga., which is merely 37 miles from Croom's home in Norcross, Ga.

Scout.com national recruiting analyst Chad Simmons had this to say about the Scout300 member: "Croom is a gifted athlete with a lot of size and raw ability. His size is what could make him a real weapon on the next level. He is big enough to work as a hybrid or tight end, but he has the speed to play wide receiver as well."

Croom is a matchup nightmare for vertically-challenged cornerbacks and a large target for quarterbacks. It's those types of traits that make him a candidate to catch passes from Tennessee signal-callers on fall Saturdays his first year on campus.

Dooley told him: "Really just come here ready to work. I have an opportunity to play early because of my size."

Croom is using basketball to help keep him in shape but understands that with the transfers of DeAnthony Arnett and Matt Milton together with Justin Hunter coming off a torn knee ligament, there are opportunities aplenty for a first-year Vol wideout in 2012.

"I'm doing stuff so I can come in and have that opportunity," said Croom, who noted that he will not be taking any visits to any other schools. Mississippi State finished second for his services.

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