Crompton picks UT!

Ballyhooed prep quarterback Jonathan Crompton just confirmed what many observers have suspected for months: He'll play his college football for the University of Tennessee.

A long-time Vol fan, Crompton announced at a 1 p.m. Friday news conference in his hometown (Waynesville, N.C.) that he is publicly committing to the Big Orange. He committed on the birthday of Dan Brooks, the Vol aide who recruited him.

''I just felt comfortable there with the coaching staff and with the players,'' Crompton told Miller Safrit of ''It is like family to me.''

Crompton, a 6-3, 217-pounder with one year of high school ball remaining, is ranked among the top three quarterback prospects nationwide by most recruiting services. Despite an inexperienced supporting cast, he completed 111 of 224 passes for 2,300 yards as a junior, throwing 15 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. He also has the quickness (4.79 clocking in the 40-yard dash) to escape the rush and make yards by scrambling.

Crompton already has begun telephoning other Vol prospects in hopes they also will cast their lot with the Big Orange.

The commitment of Crompton, coupled with the February signing of prep quarterbacks Brent Schaeffer (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Erik Ainge (Hillsborough, Ore.), essentially frees Tennessee recruiters to pursue other areas of need. The Vols reportedly will not recruit any more quarterbacks for the Class of 2005.

Crompton is the third player to go public for the Vols. Previously committed were a couple of homegrown Tennesseans -- running back LaMarcus Coker of Antioch and cornerback Marsalous Johnson of Smyrna.

Coker is a 5-11, 185-pounder who rushed for 1,293 yards and 14 touchdowns on 189 carries as a junior. He is ranked No. 2 among the country's running back prospects by

Johnson is a 5-9, 175-pounder who rushed for 1,400 yards last fall but projects to play strictly corner in college due to his lack of size.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories