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{{ timeAgo('2018-06-10 15:00:23 -0500') }} football Edit

BREAKING: Feeling the love, Vols land Peach State athlete Aaron Beasley

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Chad Simmons

With plenty of scholarship offers in front of him, Heard County (Ga.) athlete Aaron Beasley did what he had been wanting to do for a while: He made the drive north on I-75 to commit to Tennessee's coaches in person.

So why was now the right time to be a Vol?

"The coaches are the biggest reason," Beasley said. "I love coach (Charles) Kelly and how he as coaches. I love the defensive scheme they have their under coach (Jeremy) Pruitt. It's just where I think I belong.

"The love they have showed me. They don't blow my phone up but they are always there talking to me and checking on me."

Most prospects would have just made the call to commit, but not Beasley. The very mature and polite Peach State product just felt like he was called to make the trip. He wanted to see their reaction first-hand.

"I wanted to come up and do it in person," Beasley said. "I wanted to do it this way so they know I'm for real. I think it lets them know how I feel about Tennessee and how I feel about the staff."


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Safeties coach Charles Kelly was instrumental in landing Aaron Beasley
UT Sports

Speaking of the staff, it's the veteran defensive assistant Kelly who made a huge impression on him. He's an athlete with opportunities to play on both sides, but having his potential position coach be the one that recruited him personally made a big difference.

"He keeps it real," Beasley said of Kelly. "He shows me things that not every coach does and he keeps it 100. I like that I'm getting coached by the best with coach Pruitt and coach Kelly."

Pruitt and his staff love the upside of Beasley. They see him as a big tailback or a hard-hitting safety. Beasley fully understood where he stands with this staff and it was humbling.

"It makes you feel so good," Beasley said. "It's almost surreal to hear coaches talk about my versatility and what they like about my game. It just lets me know they hard work I've put in has paid off."

At 6-foot-1 and over 200 pounds, Beasley displays versatility with extremely nice athleticism. He clearly loves to play the game at a high level.

"Just running and hitting," Beasley said. "I love to tackle. My ability to tackle in space is something that sets me apart. I know I have to get better in certain areas. I want to improve my speed even more and then my coverage."

So which ones does he want to play? Well ultimately it doesn't matter, but he likes parts of both positions.

"They have told me that I can play both," Beasley said. "I haven't really decided which one I want to play. I like to run the ball, but I don't really care. I just like to make plays. It feels good to help your team."

Tennessee beat out Auburn, Florida State, South Carolina and Nebraska, among others, to land Beasley, who becomes the tenth member of the 2019 class.