King & Co. have 'high expectations'

To stay in the know with Tennessee Vol football, keep it locked to Sign in or subscribe now to read this interview with an incoming freshman athlete from Georgia.

Grab some gear. Start learning the buildings on campus. Get to know teammates.

It's all part of becoming a freshman student-athlete, and something a double-digit number of the members of the Tennessee signing class for 2012, including Justin King.

"I'm excited," the Dunwoody, Ga., native told InsideTennessee. "It will be kind of weird but you know being in the kitchen and not having home-cooked meals. But, it will be a different atmosphere. Things will change a lot. Brian Randolph just told me when I went up there that there's going to be a whole schedule with all hours accounted for. He had a good point. It's just the life of a freshman and going into a new environment and getting used to it and going to class and also playing football with your teammates."

King first got his offer back in early July, telling InsideTennessee he was "shocked" by the opportunity. After visiting the campus in Knoxville a little over two weeks later, he pulled the trigger on verbally committing after talking with everyone within his circle.

Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, linebackers coach Peter Sirmon departed. The Volunteers finished 5-7 with no bowl game. Opposing schools warned that coach Derek Dooley would soon be fired. But, King was one of many who never wavered and he has firm plans, along with his classmates, to help the Big Orange get the train back on the tracks.

"I think we all have high expectations for this upcoming season. I think all of us want to come in here and work," King said.

The chemistry within that incoming group is highly evident. A solid group all committed in mid-to-late July and have grown close. King and roommate Drae Bowles were the longest standing commitments.

"We get along real good," King said. "Actually, I'm right next door to (Alden) Hill and (Cody) Blanc. We're going to wind up being a really close class."

The former Dunwoody High quarterback said his current size has him at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. Early projections had him fitting in as an outside linebacker. The superb athlete may still wind up there but nothing has been set in stone.

"I won't know until I put on a helmet and coach (Derek) Dooley decides where he wants me," he said.

InsideTennessee will be in Johnson City, Tenn., to bring its site subscribers all the news on the 2012 class as well as the veteran Vols once preseason camp gets underway this summer.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

Twitter | Facebook | E-Mail

Inside Tennessee Top Stories