published Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

UTC tops Jumper's list of college options

Mocs commitments

UTC has seven commitments for the 2013 signing class, including a pair of offensive lineman that will enroll in January:

Hunter Townson, OL, Ider (Ala.) High School*

Alejandro Bennifield, QB, Lovejoy (Ga.) High School

Logan Teichman, OL, Brentwood High School

Jacob Revis, OL, Rhea County High School

D.J. Prather, DL, Gordon Central (Ga.) High School

Derrick Craine, RB, Union Grove (Ga.) High School

Channing Smith, OL, Marshall University*

* Early enrollee

Baylor School all-state linebacker Colton Jumper was ready to commit to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga during his official visit on Dec. 1. In fact, he did so — briefly.

That Saturday night, the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder tweeted: "UTC here I come!" The tweet also included the humorous hashtag: #hopemyparentsdontfindoutovertwitter. Jumper deleted the tweet after talking with his parents, who encouraged him to explore all of his options before committing to the Mocs.

"I was ready to commit, but my parents, being the smarter, reasoning people, wanted me to wait and take some more officials just to see how it plays out," he said. "I still feel the same way about UTC. ... There's no need to rush into anything, necessarily, and I understand that."

Jumper recently made the TSWA's Division II-AA all-state team for the second year in a row. He led Baylor with 58.5 tackles and had 10 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Jumper was No. 6 on the Times Free Press's preseason Dynamite Dozen.

William & Mary recently offered Jumper a scholarship. He also has offers from Air Force, Wofford, Furman, Samford and Lehigh, he said. Jumper has scheduled visits to Air Force and Wofford.

UTC remains at the top of Jumper's list, he said, in part because of the relationships he's developed with multiple Mocs, such as quarterback Jacob Huesman, a Baylor graduate. Jumper said he had a great time on his visit, which only strengthened those relationships.

"I loved my visit. I was with Jacob, who's one of my friends, and I really liked all of the guys," Jumper said. "I think I fit in well there, and I really like all the coaches. I think being around them a lot helps, just because I get to know them so well."

Jumper aspired to play at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. Of the recruiting process, which has at times been discouraging, he said, "I hate it, actually."

Why?

"[I don't like] being told that I can't play at a higher level," he said. "This is probably the most in my life that I'll be told that I can't do something. But at the same time it's a good problem to have. I'm in a position where I can have my college paid for and play college football.

"I love having the chance to go play college football, and I wouldn't know what to do if I couldn't do that."

Linebacker is one of the Mocs' top areas of need for this recruiting class. UTC returns starters Wes Dothard, a two-time All-American, and Gunner Miller, both of whom are heading into their senior seasons. The Mocs also return backups Muhasibi Wakeel, A.J. Hampton, C.J. Murrell -- who have seen little action except on special teams -- and will add Navy transfer Andrew Glaize and redshirt freshman Alex Kirby to the mix next season.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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