June 14, 2013

Cherry on (Rocky) Top

Frostproof, Fla., has been kind to Tennessee football. Tennessee's career leading rusher is from there and now the Vols have added another Frostproof native with the commitment of linebacker Cecil Cherry.

"It's just wonderful," Cherry said. "I sat down with coach Butch (Jones) and he was just great. As much as he cares about coaching, he cares more about his players. He is very genuine. The facilities were awesome. It's a great place."

Cherry has toured the facilities and seen campus. One of his favorite spots was naturally the stadium.

"That was awesome," Cherry said. "I got to put on a jersey and see the field. Everyone says its awesome on gameday with the fans. I can't wait to come back to a game.

Cherry is in Knoxville for a big recruiting weekend for the Vols as they continue summer camps on Rocky Top. It's his first time to campus but he has family that is very familiar with the orange and white. And more importantly he said the staff and players felt like family.

"I'm cousins with Tony Thompson and I've had other family here," Cherry said. "Coach (Tommy) Thigpen is like a father. He speaks the truth and I know I can get the job done with him. He is just a cool guy to be around and he is a motivator. All the coaches and players feel like family."

With many of the 2014 commitments in town, Cherry has seen first hand how close everyone is with the Jones led Volunteers. In fact he spent time yesterday and today with Jalen Hurd, Todd Kelly, and Vic Wharton.

"We are going to build tradition," Cherry said. "I hung out with all those guys and Jalen gave me a big hug as soon as I walked out of coach Jones office. I'm very excited to be a part of this and we have all exchanged numbers."

The need for linebackers can't be stated enough and Thigpen and Jones made sure Cherry knew they needed him.

"Coach Thig and coach Jones both told me how bad they needed me," Cherry said. "A.J. (Johnson) and Curt (Maggitt) might be gone when I get here so I'm going to be able to come in and compete and maybe play right away. I'm going to work hard because this opportunity is great."

Cherry becomes the fifth commitment for 2015.

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