Petty confirmed that he had indeed been offered by and committed to Tennessee on Wednesday afternoon making him the only quarterback commit thus far and the tenth pledge for the Vols' 2009 recruiting class.
The 6-foot-3, 215 pound gunslinger first learned that the Vols could potentially offer when he attended camp in Knoxville last week. "I was talking to Coach (Dave) Clawson and he told me to give him about a week because they needed to sit down and talk about who they liked," Petty said of the time frame that the Tennessee offensive coordinator gave for the Vols to come forward with an offer.
Petty was just getting home from a trip to Nebraska, which the 2007 first team all-District selection said went very well, when Clawson called him and told him that the Vols were ready to offer. "He called me about 9:30 (Tuesday) night and he said that he and Coach (Phillip) Fulmer sat down and talked about who they liked," Petty explained of the conversation between himself and his soon-to-be quarterbacks coach. "Coach Fulmer said that he liked me and then he asked Coach Clawson who he liked and he said me and they said, ‘okay, lets do it then.'"
While admiting that he did not do much sleeping, Petty asked Clawson if he could have a day or so to think things over. "I really needed to sit down and think about it because it's a really big decision and that is such a great school and a great program," Petty said. "I called him this afternoon and told him I'm ready to be a Vol. I'm pumped"
After only being in Knoxville for a breif time, Petty was struck by the aoura of the Tennessee program. "I still feel like I'm in a dream-like state," Petty admitted as his ear-to-ear grin was evident over the phone. "When you think about guys like Peyton Manning, Tee Martin, Reggie White, and all of the great players that have played there, its going to take a while for this to sink in.
"Neyland Stadium is just huge," Petty added. "Its special to college football fans everywhere but when you play there and go there you realize how special of a place it is."
The Vols are getting a quarterback that is still really learning the position, but some amazing raw tools. After coming over from Arkansas where he played his freshman year in a run-oreinted offense, Petty bloosmed in the Panthers spread offense as a junior throwing for more than 2,100 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding more than 200 more on the ground with five scores.
In addition to everything that Tennessee has to offer, Petty a big sticking point was Fulmer himself. "He told me when I was up there that he had just signed a seven year contract," said Petty. " That was big for me because that lets me know that there won't be any big time coaching changes or anything."
As for Petty potentially changing his mind, Tennessee fans can rest easy that he will be a Vol in 2009. "I'm committed, that's what I told the coaches," said Petty. "I'm a Vol and that's what I'm doing."