published Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Blackman football star Jauan Jennings commits to Tennessee

TENNESSEE'S 2015 RECRUITING CLASS

It's roughly 10 months until signing day next February, but Tennessee is off to another good start to recruiting for 2015. The Vols' class is fourth in the country in the early rankings according to 247Sports.com, and Rivals.com has them fifth nationally. Here's a quick look at the 10-player class.

WR Preston Williams [Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy High School]

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound wideout is a five-star prospect and the No. 19 player in the class according to 247sports and committed to Tennessee over big-time programs in the SEC and across the country in September.

LB Cecil Cherry [Frostproof (Fla.) High School]

Hailing from the same high school that produced former Tennessee tailback Travis Henry, Cherry is one of the top-ranked inside linebackers in the country.

ATH Jauan Jennings [Murfreesboro Blackman High School]

Jennings is a dual-sport star and one of the state's top-ranked players.

OL Jack Jones [Murfreesboro Oakland High School]

A 6-4, 280-pound four-star recruit, Jones has received offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Missouri since committing last May and won the Class AAA Mr. Football award last season.

DE Andrew Butcher [Alpharetta (Ga.) High School]

From the same high school that produced current Vols quarterback Josh Dobbs, Butcher also has seen his stock grow, with offers from Alabama, Notre Dame and Miami (Fla.), after committing to Tennessee last June.

OL Zach Stewart [Coalfield (Tenn.) High School]

The bruising lineman from a small school a little more than 30 miles from Tennessee's campus, the three-star Stewart became the first pledge of the class last April.

S Stephen Griffin [Charlotte (N.C.) South Mecklenburg High School]

The 6-3, 180-pound three-star attracted offers from Michigan and ACC programs including Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and N.C. State before committing to the Vols last month.

DE Dylan Jackson [Maryville (Tenn.) High School]

At 6-6 and 243 pounds and growing, Jackson, a product of the perennial state champion program under George Quarles, is an intriguing prospect with upside.

ATH Jaylond Woods [Lenoir City (Tenn.) High School]

The 5-9, 160-pound three-star from just outside of Knoxville committed to the Vols two days after Stewart last April.

LS Riley Lovingood [Hendersonville (Tenn.) Beech High School]

Lovingood is regarded as one of the top long-snapping prospects in the country.

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee continues to find football recruiting success in the midstate under second-year coach Butch Jones.

After signing eight players from the areas around Nashville and Murfreesboro in their 2014 class, the Volunteers landed another player from there for 2015 on Monday.

Jauan Jennings, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound athlete from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, publicly committed to Tennessee during a ceremony at his school Monday morning.

He's rated as the top player in the state by 247Sports.com.

"This is a decision I've been wanting to make for a long time," Jennings told the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. "Not having to stress anymore, and to have more time with my family and friends, is a very relieving process. I'm glad I made this decision. I hope I can take Tennessee to another level once I'm there."

Jennings played quarterback for the Blaze and also helped lead Blackman to the Class AAA state basketball title this year. Jennings threw for nearly 1,465 yards and tossed 14 touchdown passes as a junior while running for 795 yards and 10 scores. He scored 47 points in three games to earn MVP honors at the state hoops tournament.

Jennings picked Tennessee over his other finalists, a group including Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and Northwestern. His list of offers also included Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska and Virginia.

It's likely Jennings will get a shot at playing quarterback for the Vols, but he could play safety as well. He ran a spread-option style of offense featuring plenty of zone-read plays at Blackman and demonstrated the ability to make plays and turn nothing into something with his legs. The Blaze reached the Class 6A semifinals last season.

Two of Tennessee's top quarterback targets are Torrance Gibson, a five-star prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who visited the Vols last month, and New Mexico's Zach Gentry, a 6-7 four-star who also recently visited campus.

Tennessee did not sign a quarterback in 2014 after adding Riley Ferguson and Josh Dobbs in 2013.

The Vols are now up to 10 public commitments for their 2015 class.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@timesfreepress.com.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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