A mom's-eye view

Hillsboro Glencoe (Ore) QB Erik Ainge committed to Tennessee on Monday night (12/15). His mother, Diane, offered some perspective on his choice.

"I think one of the reasons he committed was because he was tired of all the people calling him," said Mrs. Ainge. "Also, there were other coaches who were going to be coming to the house this week and he really knew that Tennessee was the school he wanted to go too. This all wasn't supposed to get out yet, not until Wednesday or so. But everybody already knows.

"He didn't want to lead all these other coaches on since he had really made up his mind. So he decided to commit now. He probably actually made up his mind on November 22, the second night on his official trip to Tennessee.

http://scout.TheInsiders.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=615718 "They have incredible attendance there, something like 107,000 a game. They have 78,OOO season ticket holders. Erik said that even though they were only playing Vanderbilt that weekend, there were 75-80,000 at the game and it was still crazy. His dad and I didn't go and I wish I would have gone.

"At Tennessee, people ages five through fifty were coming up to him and asking him for autographs.

"He came back and told us he wanted to go to Tennessee. We told him he was just going on emotion and that he should wait before he did anything.

"My vote was for him to go to UCLA and I think UCLA and Oregon came in number two for him. ASU was probably next. I kept pushing for UCLA. We also have a daughter that goes to the University of San Diego. It would have been a shorter flight, the weather is always nice and I could have come down to see both the kids on football weekends.

"This last week he said to me, 'Mom would you quit making me feel guilty. I have to make this decision for myself.' And he's right. I'm gonna have to get a job and make some more money if I want to see him play though.

"You know, it was funny. When we looked at the Tennessee media guide, coach (Phillip) Fulmer from Tennessee looked exactly like Erik's coach at Glencoe (Craig Ruecker). I think I knew then he was going to go to Tennessee when I saw that media guide and Fulmer's picture. And both men have this little pause in their voices when they talk. It's hard to describe. It even seemed like their philosophies were the same. They both even have three daughters. It's just weird.

"He liked all the coaches but he just clicked with the Tennessee ones more. Riley, Bellotti, Koetter and Dorrell are all some of the nicest, most humble and humorous coaches. Erik just hit it off with all the different aspects of Tennessee.

"When he visited Tennessee, Chase Patton was on the trip with him. He figured Chase would choose Missouri back then and he did. Chase was also with him when he visited UCLA and so was Matt Tuiasosopo.

"I thought Tuiasosopo runs the option and because of his Washington family connections, would probably choose the Huskies. So UCLA would be open. Coach Dorrell even had breakfast with Erik. But it was the Tennessee players, coaches and that good old southern hospitality that won him over. He also liked that the kids at Tennessee didn't seem cocky at all.

"Tonight Erik's coming back from their big rivalry basketball game. They beat Hillsboro by four tonight. I just talked with his dad. Erik's practicing a little bassketball but not playing yet.

"He has low stress fractures in both feet and had to play part of the football season that way. I don't think he'll be playing either basketball or baseball in college. He could be drafted for baseball but he shouldn't skip college. It's important that he go to school now, at this age."

3.9/1000 SAT

Inside Tennessee Top Stories