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A big recruiting battle was building up in Oklahoma for the services of high school All-American athlete Gerald Jones, but the Tennessee Volunteers came away with the prize prospect before the competition even knew he was missing.

With official visits scheduled for Notre Dame and Florida over the next two weeks and Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas State in hot pursuit of the four-star prospect, rated No. 9 among the nation's running backs by Scout.com, this red hot competition figured to heat up the New Year.

Instead the chase for the ace with the breakaway speed came to an abrupt halt when the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Jones decided to let the cat out of the bag.

"The whole recruiting thing was taking a toll on me," Jones told James Hale of Sooner Illustrated. "I am real tired of it and everything that I have going on seems to make me tired every day. My heart was with Tennessee for a long time and my parents told me if my heart is with Tennessee, then don't second-guess your decision. So I went ahead and made the choice."

Among the things Mr. Jones has going on is the state playoffs where he has led Millwood High School, located in Oklahoma City, to a semifinal showdown this weekend. Playing quarterback the versatile Jones has rushed for 1,202 yards and 11 touchdowns while passing for 1,561 yards and 21 TDs this season.

Gerald Jones announcement comes after an in-home visit this week from Phillip Fulmer and Steve Caldwell. However he was sold on Tennessee after visiting Knoxville for the LSU game.

"It was a great visit to Tennessee," Jones reported to Scout.com. "I have been high on Tennessee for a long time and I really liked the atmosphere while I was on my visit."

Jones also said he has developed a bond with UT star receiver and Oklahoma native Robert Meachem, plus he wanted a chance to compete in the super tough SEC. However when it came down to it he realized he wasn't going to please everyone, especially with offers from both the Sooners and Cowboys, so he had to please himself.

"A lot of people want you to go to particular schools that they want you to go to," he told Hale. "Everybody is telling you where to go. I have to make the best choice for me because I am the one who is going to be there for four years. I am getting a lot of pressure from fans, and from people I didn't even know, telling me to go to OU or OSU. I just think it is better if I leave the state, develop some skills and learn how to be on my own. Tennessee is the best place for that."

Jones can play on offense or defense on the next level. UT wants to look at him at wide receiver and running back because those are areas of immediate need.

"They want to play me on offense," he said. "They really want to rotate me around at wide receiver and running back. I think my primary position is going to be wide receiver. I chose that and I think that will be the best for me, and I hope to play on a couple of special teams."

One of 79 high school seniors selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Jan. 6, Jones will join fellow UT commitment Donald Langley in the nationally televised contest.

In announcing Jones selection, director of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Garrett Shea said: "He is a tremendous athlete, excelling as a shutdown corner and at various offensive positions. At defensive back, he shows a great combination of strength, speed and quickness, making him nearly impossible to separate from. In addition, he shows great instincts and smarts, constantly making great plays on the ball. Gerald Jones is a terrific all-around athlete and the Bowl is proud to have him join the U.S. Army All-American class of 2007." Jones runs a time of 4.49 in the 40 and has great vision while on the run. He operates in space well and has an uncanny ability to change directions. These attributes could enable him to become the return specialists the Vols have searched for the last several years.

A couple of years ago the Vols passed on Oklahoma running back prospect Felix Jones only to see the cat quick halfback burn them against Arkansas this season. Now UT is keeping up with the Jones.

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