Martinez seals commitment

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Just six days after Butch Jones and his staff snagged their first commitment at the helm of Rocky Top, they have added another.

First it was cornerback Lemond Johnson and now another corner has pulled the trigger in two-star junior college prospect Riyahd Jones.

Originally Jones told InsideTennessee.com that he would need to visit the Vols officially before he would make a decision on his college future, but it turns out that his mind was made up just days later.

"I actually committed to Tennessee on Tuesday," he said. "They were waiting on my transcripts and stuff and they came through."

Jones spent his 2012 season with Garden City (Kan.) Community College where he racked up 28 tackles, 11 pass break ups, a forced fumble, two blocked field goals, including one that was returned for a 90-yard touchdown. He didn't need a visit to Garden City to make his decision on attending there either.

Tennessee safeties coach Willie Martinez wasted no time making his presence felt as a recruiter.
(Getty Images)
"Tennessee is a great school with great tradition," Jones said. "They have great facilities. I have seen their facilities on YouTube. They have a great coaching staff — new coaching staff coming in so I have an opportunity to play early. I just felt like I could pick them without a visit. I didn't visit to my JUCO so it is kind of the same thing."

And while Tennessee satisfied Jones' craving to play in the Southeastern Conference, it was Tennessee's safeties coach Willie Martinez that really sealed the deal in favor of the Vols.

"Really it was coach Martinez," he said. "He wanted to offer me when he was at Auburn and it didn't work out. He changed schools and went to Tennessee and gave me a call to offer the scholarship."

Jones chose Tennessee over finalists Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kansas State and West Virginia.

Right behind the call to Martinez came a call to former Carver (Ga.) High School teammate and Tennessee defensive back Deion Bonner.

"He was all hype about it," said Jones of Bonner's reaction to his commitment.

The 6-foot, 186-pounder was ranked as the No. 109 cornerback in the Class of 2011 by FOX Sports NEXT and spent his first season of college eligibility at Georgia Southern. There, he recorded 12 tackles, had two pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

Jones plans to make his official visit to Tennessee on Jan. 6 before enrolling in classes on the first day of the spring semester, Jan. 9. He also had a message to Vol Nation he asked be added to this story. It reads as follows:

"I would like to thank you all for welcoming me into this great school of tradition. I'm going to work hard on and off the field. Trouble will not find me and I won't find trouble. I ask you not to judge me for where I'm from, but instead take time out to get to know me. I plan on helping turn this program around and with great coaches, players and fans it will happen! Let's work!"

Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.com.

Deion Bonner


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