John Fulkerson grew up a Tennessee fan in nearby Kingsport, a short two-hour drive from Knoxville where he once dreamed of suiting up in orange and white.
On Friday, Fulkerson made that dream a reality.
The Scout three-star power forward committed to the Vols on Friday in a ceremony at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina. Fulkerson passed on offers from finalists Charlotte and Georgia to play for Rick Barnes and his staff at Tennessee.
"Coach Barnes is a great guy and I think his belief system and faith system is really something I like,” Fulkerson told InsideTennessee on Oct. 20.
The 6-foot-8, 190-pound class of 2016 prospect acquired dozens of offers after exploding over the summer on the AAU circuit with the Tennessee Bobcats. The Vols' coaching staff took notice and began pursuit, spearheaded by associate head coach Rob Lanier.
Fulkerson attended both Tennessee football and basketball games as a kid and will now get a chance to play on the court in the same Thompson-Boling Arena he once sat in to watch his new program.
“Always being a Vol fan and having that, ‘Oh, it would be cool to play basketball there,’ and having that be a reality, that’s cool,” Fulkerson told IT in October. “The thing about Tennessee, like I said, always liking Tennessee, how could you not consider it?"
Fulkerson believes he needs to add weight to his frame to become a productive forward at the next level, but the senior's versatlity and athletcisim will make him a handful for future Tennessee opponents.
“I think what I do best is my versatility as a floor manager," Fulkerson said. "I coach the floor well, and then I can shoot it if they don’t come out on me. I can get by them on the dribble. If a three-man guards me, I can post them up. I think my big thing is just being versatile. Something I need to work on, I think my strength, just getting stronger. That will come as I get older and as I just continue to work at it.”
The addition of Fulkerson brings Tennessee's 2016 class to three commits. Fulkerson joins three-star point guard Jordan Bone and three-star forward Jalen Johnson, with three-star forward Grant Williams choosing between the Vols, Princeton and Yale on Nov. 13.