Weatherd gets stamp of approval

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Sometimes all it takes is a stamp of approval from momma.

For a Texas native with a scholarship offer from a Southeastern Conference school to be able to stay close to home, it was a quality option for Christopher Weatherd.

However, if Tennessee was to hang onto the verbal commitment of the outside linebacker, his mother's blessing would make his future with the Orange & White concrete.

"Seeing my mom happy, that was the most important thing," Weatherd said. "My mom has got to be happy with where I go.

"Just the plan they have for me here (is what caught momma's eye). We talked to one of the coaches about the VFL (Vol For Life) Program and she just teared up and started crying because it's incredible.

"Also, the things she was talking about was she wanted me to be able to express myself and be able to come out here and grow up and be a man. She just loved that I can come out here and do that."

After having an unofficial trip to Knoxville in late July cut short, the Lone Star State standout was able to return to Rocky Top this weekend on an official visit. While in town, he joined a crowd of nearly 87,000 to watch Tennessee beat up Western Kentucky 52-20.

"Another great thing was seeing the action of the game," Weatherd said. "I wanted to see the Georgia game to see more of an opponent but it's all good. Seeing the atmosphere and talking to some of the players, 'Hey, do you like it here? What's different since Jones has been here?' I heard nothing but great things.

"I liked hanging out with the coaches and the players. It was better than my unofficial, I can say that. They laid out the red carpet for me. So, it was great.

"I wanted to suit up so bad. The type of schemes that Western Kentucky was playing (were talked about with coaches). Also we talked a little bit about the Oregon game and what I would do if I was ever in that situation because Oregon has a fast defense and a fast offense. So, they're going to have to find somebody because they don't have anybody for reserves for linebackers. They're going to have to get winning this weekend and have a lot of players step up, a lot of freshmen (in 2014)."

Weathered verbally committed to Tennessee on May 31. He has since added scholarship offers from Alabama, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

"I've got to talk to (Texas A&M) coach (Kevin) Sumlin next week and tell him 'Hey, look, thanks for the opportunity but I'm staying at Tennessee.

"This weekend made me realize this is the place where I want to be at."

Christopher Weatherd

"It's not that tough (to leave Texas) you know. It's going to be tough leaving my mom home but she's going to be all right. I'm getting taken care of up here. She's going to be taken care of at home. It's just another movement in my life, and I'm ready to move on forward and have fun."

With linebackers Brent Brewer, Raiques Crump, Greg King, John Propst, Dontavis Sapp graduating from the 2013 roster and All-SEC 'backer A.J. Johnson expected to declare early for the NFL Draft, the Volunteers have holes aplenty with the 2014 Volunteers.

That is music to the ears of any junior college prospect hunting immediate playing time. He says he can "definitely, definitely" see a scenario where he plays immediately.

"We were talking about if A.J. stays then A.J. on the outside and Curt (Maggitt) in the middle or switched and I'd be on the other side. I dreamt of it and it looked beautiful. So, I mean I'm ready."

The outside linebacker, who has three years to play two seasons, is rated by FOX Sports and Scout as a four-star prospect. He will play LEO linebacker on the first two downs and in third-down situations, he will blitz some and rush the passer.

His player hosts while on Rocky Top where fellow linebackers Johnson and Maggitt.

"We hung out last night; it was pretty fun," Weatherd said. "A.J. and Curt were talking about coming back next year maybe. I know Curt is for sure. A.J. might go to The League.

"Curt's excited. I also talked to (Tennessee linebackers) coach (Tommy) Thigpen. The big thing they were talking about was they needed speed. I was like 'I'm here. I'm not going anywhere.'"

Weatherd is in his second season at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College. The Cardinals are in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference along with Blinn College, which is where fellow Tennessee commit Kameel Jackson plays.

The family side of things was an added dimension to his weekend in the Volunteer State, which was trip No. 2.

"The only thing is that we're all family you know," Weatherd said. "Whenever I need something, they've got my back. That's the big thing is having a family and a foundation."

On Saturday night, he became just the second Tennessee recruit to visit Butch Jones' house. He signed a "real big" wall as a committed player next to that of four-star defensive lineman Davonte Lambert.

"It's beautiful," Weatherd said of the home. "It's fantastic. Everything was good. This weekend made me realize this is the place where I want to be at.

"(Jones) is real chill and relaxed. My mom said he's soft-spoken but in the locker room I was like he's totally different. But, he's a genuine guy. You can really count on him and trust him and things like that."

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder played his prep ball at Creekview High in Carrollton, Texas. In his senior season, he tallied 51 tackles with 11 tackles for loss.

Weatherd is on the academic path to arrive at Tennessee in January. He plans to major in Kinesiology and go into physical therapy. He said he may see the Vols again for a bowl game.

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