After spending nine years of his life in Knoxville, Eric Maclain grew up being a Tennessee Volunteer football fan.
He had the dream of one day donning the Orange of the Volunteers. Despite moving to North Carolina, his love for Rocky Top only grew. He committed to the Vols during the fall of his sophomore season, everything was glorious, and he was ready to live a dream.
After the coach he committed to was fired and a new coaching staff was hired, a little uncertainty existed for the talented tight end and offensive lineman.
That uncertainty and unanswered questions were answered this past weekend at the University of Tennessee's spring game.
"It was an outstanding trip," Maclain told InsideTennessee.com Tuesday night. "I got a lot of my questions answered. I wanted to make sure they still wanted me, that my offer was still good."
Did the new staff stand good by the offer?
"Yes sir they did," Maclain said. "They told me how much they wanted and needed me to be a Vol. I reaffirmed my commitment to Coach (Lane) Kiffin and to Coach (Ed) Orgeron. They treated me like family, I loved the reception they gave me, and how they made me feel welcome and wanted."
Maclain had several questions that he needed answered; he got those answers and more.
"I'm one of these student athletes who want to major in engineering," Maclain said. "I had to ask the coaching staff if they would allow that, they said they would."
Did Maclain impress the Tennessee coaching staff while on his visits?
"They wanted me to suit up for the spring game," Maclain said. "They said I looked like I could start for them today."
Maclain will be entering his junior season this fall; he is the first commitment for the University of Tennessee for 2011.
Maclain said there was definitely a different intensity in Knoxville than before.
"The intensity and energy around the program was so different than it was before with the other coaching staff," Maclain said. "I like the difference a lot, I really enjoyed meeting the new coaching staff, and I will love playing for them."
With his grandparents living only 10 minutes from the stadium, Maclain definitely feels Rocky Top is home sweet home.