Jeff George is usually the one flying in the air to reel in a high pass, but on Saturday it was Butch Jones who jumped for joy.
Jones secured a commitment from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College standout Jeff George during George's second weekend visit to Tennessee, which took place in concurrence with one of the Vols’ summer camps. In the middle of his most recent journey to Rocky Top, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound wideout bypassed offers from Mississippi State, Iowa State, Arizona State, Southern Miss, Cincinnati, Arkansas State and Kansas to verbally commit to Tennessee.
“He was just excited. He jumped up,” George said of his new head coach’s reaction. “He asked me if I was serious. I said yes and he jumped up and gave me a hug and all that. It was great.”
George was able to interact with most of the team during the weekend camp and, after meeting again with coaches and his future teammates, decided to lock down his commitment sooner rather than later.
“I decided probably earlier (Saturday) that I was going to do it. I went in to coach Jones' office one-on-one and we were just talking for a minute,” George said. “He just asked me when I had a timetable for when I was going to decide and I just told him that I wanted to do it right then, that I wanted to commit here. This is where I want to go.”
The redshirt sophomore, who said he wants to enroll in classes in Knoxville in January, gives Tennessee its eleventh commitment and second wide receiver of the 2016 class. George noted his excitement to play with offensive weapons like Josh Dobbs, Jalen Hurd and Marquez North and hopes his addition will add yet another tool in offensive coordinator Mike DeBord’s arsenal.
“It’s great,” George said. “All the attention will be on them, so if I can come in and play, I might can take some of that pressure off them and maybe have an impact. It’s great to play with all those great guys.”
George originally planned to visit Mississippi State, Iowa State and Kansas before making a decision, but for now believes he will drop those trips.
“I’m not sure, but I don’t think I will (visit them),” he said. “I won’t say no, but I’m not sure right now. I don’t think so.”
A cocktail of opportunity blended together to make the lengthy, athletic pass catcher ultimately pick Tennessee. His relationship with the coaching staff and players coupled with the Vols’ desire to sign talented wide receivers in the 2016 class mixed together to form the perfect situation for Jones’ newest wide receiver.
“I just thought it was the right decision for me, the right place for me,” George said. “I just couldn’t imagine any place being better than that when it comes down to it. In all aspects: the coaching staff, the players, the situation. I just couldn’t imagine any place being better, so I just decided to commit.”
InsideTennessee managing editor Danny Parker contributed to this report.