published Saturday, December 8th, 2012

2,000-yarder picks UTC

Running back Derrick Craine averaged 7.7 yards per carry for Union Grove (Ga.) High School this season, and he carried the ball 273 times.

Craine, who rushed for a school-record 2,015 yards and 26 touchdowns, is the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's latest commitment. Mocs coach Russ Huesman and running backs coach Thomas Brown visited Craine on Wednesday and picking the Mocs was an easy choice, Craine said.

"I had been talking to Coach Brown for a while and he definitely made me feel wanted there," Craine said. "I came down on a visit for the App State game and just fell in love with the environment, the city and the college as well. Everything about that school, all the checks added up, and I felt like it was the perfect match for me."

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Craine played running back and linebacker for the Wolverines, but he wanted to carry the ball in college. He said he chose UTC over Army and Presbyterian.

Being recruited by Brown was a special experience for Craine, who said he closely followed the former Georgia running back's career with the Bulldogs. Craine's running style is more blue-collar than Brown's was.

"The coaches said they wanted to bring a hard-nosed mentality to the offensive side and they said I'm the perfect guy for the job," he said. "I've been described as a blue-collar running back, and I do take that as a compliment."

UTC loses two running backs from the 2012 team, J.J. Jackson and Chris Awuah, and returns Kenny Huitt, Marquis Green, Keon Williams and redshirt freshman Tolerance Shepherd. Of the Mocs' seven commitments, six are offensive players.

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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