Cam Jones’ memories of Tennessee’s campus have long since faded since his initial cross-state trip.
The Memphis-based athlete was due a refresher and took part in Saturday’s junior day recruiting event alongside Tennessee’s coaches.
“I left here thinking about the coaching staff,” said Jones, who had not tripped to Rocky Top since he was 4-5 years old. “They really showed me what they’re all about.
“It was very important. I didn’t expect most of the things that I saw today. It was a great experience. I know I’m going to be back.
“What stood out the most? I had a great lady guide. She told me a lot about the University of Tennessee, not just with football but with academics and family-wise. The weightroom is very nice.
“They play with a purpose, and they play with a passion. That was the message that I got today.”
While the trip opened Jones’ eyes some, he’s “not sure yet” on who to place as his favorite school.
The Tennessee scholarship offer came on Feb. 24. That can sometimes result in added pressure for prospective student-athletes with the Volunteer State borders.
“It’s been crazy,” Jones said. “A lot of people telling me which way to go, what to do, what not to do. But right now I’m just trying to keep my head on right, keep my grades up and focus on what’s more important like my family.
“I feel like my talents was being noticed and it just felt good to finally have the recognition I deserve.”
The St. Benedict standout junior is being recruited primarily from Tennessee by offensive line coach Walt Wells and the two talk “almost every day.”
The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder has the ability to help in a variety of roles on the next level and the Vols staff doesn’t want to slot him into any one position presently.
“They were just listing me as an athlete,” Jones said. “They were amazed at how I played everything all over the field.
“I’m not sure yet (on positional preference). I just like being on the football field.”
The Bluff City resident is still getting adjusted to the recruiting landscape, but he has an idea of what he prefers in a program.
“Perfect fit,” he said. “It’s more like a feeling, more like what I can do, how I can be successful farther past football because football is going to end one day.”
Jones is another Tennessee legacy of sorts because his brother Laron Harris signed with Tennessee in the 2002 class out of Kingsbury (Tenn.) High School. Harris, who admitted to being rebellious at the time, didn’t see his college career end as a Volunteer and transferred to Northwest Oklahoma State. Harris gave the National Football League a shot as a 6-foot-2, 347-pound defensive tackle, signing with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent.
Visits to Memphis and Mississippi are already in the books for Jones. Up next is a road trip north to check out Indiana. He expects to return to Knoxville for the DISH Orange & White game on April 22 at 4 p.m. Eastern.
InsideTennessee's Gabriella Santa contributed to this report.
Tennessee offensive line coach Walt Wells