Four-star WR Rumph talks official

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For schools that aren't stockpiling Southeastern Conference and BCS National Championships, getting prospects to visit their campuses is half the battle. Once there, sitdowns with coaches, guided tours and showcasing the atmosphere allow ground to be made up.

Of the long list of wide receivers Tennessee has on its radar, the one at or near the top is Jonathon Rumph. Consistent communication and "showing the love" helped get the 6-foot-4, 200-pound wide receiver to visit Knoxville for the first time this weekend.

"I liked the experience," said Rumph, who had a front row seat of UT's 47-26 win over Akron at Neyland Stadium. "It was great. They took care of me. I liked the way they showed me a good time. I loved the way they throw the ball around. It's a balanced offense — run, pass — and that's what I'm looking for in a school."

What Big Orange Country has to offer from its fan base stood out to the FOX Sports NEXT four-star.

"The fan base, man. The fan base — if it's a big game, little game — they come to support their players. That's what I really like. It was like a family atmosphere and that's good."

The Holmes (Miss.) Community College prospect spent a majority of the weekend with Vol wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. He also sat down with coach Derek Dooley and wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw.

"I really talked to (Dooley) most of the time, and they were telling me that I can be a big factor to the offense. They're hoping I can come in and prove myself," said Rumph, who added that at least one Vol assistant will be out to see him play in the coming weeks.

Seeing Tennessee's Pro-Style attack and the playcalling of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney opened up the eyes of the highly coveted target.

"They love their outside receivers, and they abuse them. So, that's a good thing for me. So, that's what I'm really looking for. They run a Pro-Style offense and they run pro routes. I'm trying to go to the pros, so that's the best thing for me," Rumph said.

The attraction of joining what's in place now in Knoxville is clearly there with the Cayce, S.C., native. However, if Hunter and Patterson opt for early entry into the NFL Draft, Rumph would be more than happy to step right in and take those targets.

"That's real good for me because they are setting everything in stone for me right now for outside receiver at Tennessee. That's a good look for me, but just to come in and play after them, that's a good accomplishment. I feel like my style and caliber of receiver, that should be good.

"If I decide to come in and they stay, that's even better because that'd be more playmakers on the field. That'll make me better. If I'm behind them, that will make me want to work harder. It's all competition. I just want to win. If it makes the team better, then I'm all with it."

A return of quarterback Tyler Bray to the 2013 Tennessee roster, combined with this trio of wideouts has Rumph thinking big things.

"I feel like that'd be an all-star team," he said. "That could bring a lot of good things to Tennessee. That could help the school out. That'd be a good look for them if that were to happen."

The Vols are using three wide receivers on the field at once quite often. The present No. 3 target is Zach Rogers, but he is in his fourth and final season on Rocky Top.

The official to The Hill was his third overall after having already seen Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

"All of them are great schools but I feel like (Tennessee) is a good place," Rumph said. "All of them were good places, but here they really throw the ball and really have quarterbacks that they rely on to throw the ball a lot too.

"Yeah, I can say that (Tennessee is sticking out) right now."

Arkansas and Georgia official visits are planned and should come about over the next 3-4 weeks. Should something go down with one of his top five, Texas Tech is a school that has kept in touch and could get his attention.

Rumph said he was looking at both sides of the ball in helping him decide what school he chooses.

"Depending on quarterbacks, and to me if you have a great defense behind the offense, then you'll be good because the defense gives you the ball back so the offense can make plays."

Last season, Rumph caught 37 passes for 606 yards and two touchdowns. Thus far in 2012, he is leading his team with 192 receiving yards on 13 catches with one TD.

Rumph is on track to finish up at Holmes CC in December and enroll at the school of his choice in January. Look for him to make a verbal commitment in the next 3-4 weeks after taking all five official visits.

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

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