KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee football coaches accepted a commitment Tuesday morning from potentially one of the best names in program history.
Jose Jose is a good prospect, too. The 6-foot-2, 355-pound lineman from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami had an impressive offer list featuring Florida, Georgia and Miami.
Various schools have recruited Jose as a defensive lineman or interior offensive linemen. UT’s coaches probably will try him first at center.
Jose said he’d lost at least 20 pounds off his listed playing weight from last season.
“I’m really excited to be a Vol,” Jose said. “Tennessee is a great school, and I love the new coaches, and the SEC is the best conference. I just felt like today was the right time to call the coaches and commit.”
If Jose sticks by that commitment and signs with the Volunteers in February, he’ll be another impressive recruiting steal by first-year UT running backs coach Eddie Gran. Gran successfully recruited the area for several years as an Auburn assistant and stole longtime Florida pledge Nu’Keese Richardson from the state just before this year’s signing day.
Jose joins Ooltewah defensive end Jacques Smith and Lake Charles, La., defensive tackle Risean Broussard as Vols commitments for 2010. The Vols also have 2011 pledges from New Orleans defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and Fayeteville, N.C., tight end Eric MacLain.
Branum to walk on
UT received more good news Tuesday. Knoxville Catholic’s Nick Branum, a 6-0, 190-pound wide receiver and defensive back, will walk on in hopes of eventually earning a scholarship, two officials at the high school told the Times Free Press.
Multiple SEC programs had offered similar walk-on proposals to Branum, who had an interception and a 55-yard touchdown catch in the undefeated Irish’s Class 3A state championship victory over Memphis Mitchell. With the Vols, Branum will join Catholic lineman Daniel Hood, who signed scholarship papers last week.