published Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

South-Doyle's Jocquez Bruce accepts Tennessee Vols offer

LOOKING LOCAL

After signing no Knoxville-area players in 2010, Tennessee has signed at least one local player in each of the past four classes. Here's a list of those recent additions from nearby high school programs.

2011

OL Kyler Kerbyson (Catholic)

ATH Devrin Young (Bearden)

2012

WR Cody Blanc (Central)

K George Bullock (West)

2013

OL Brett Kendrick (CAK)

WR Josh Smith (CAK)

2014

S Todd Kelly (Webb)

KNOXVILLE -- Three days was all Jocquez Bruce needed.

The 5-foot-11, 164-pound athlete out of Knoxville's South-Doyle High School earned the scholarship offer he long desired from Tennessee with his performance in the Volunteers' prospect camp last Saturday.

Tuesday afternoon, he became the next member of Tennessee's 2015 class, one coaches and commitments have dubbed the "Dream Team," by announcing his verbal pledge on Twitter.

"I am officially committed to play at the University of Tennessee," Bruce tweeted.

A three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com, Bruce previously had just two Football Bowl Subdivision offers, from Memphis and Middle Tennessee State. A handful of FCS programs, including UT-Chattanooga, Samford and Tennessee State, also extended scholarhip offers.

Bruce played running back for South-Doyle as a junior and ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. A likely slot receiver in college, he also piled up more than 250 yards and caught three touchdown passes. He also played defensive back and returned kicks for the Cherokees, who are coached by former Tennessee defensive back Clark Duncan.

After Tennessee coach Butch Jones offered him the scholarship following Saturday's camp, Bruce tweeted, "I've waited 10 long months for this, all I can do is smile right now."

Bruce is the 13th public commitment in the Vols' 2015 class, one that is heavy on in-state prospects so far. Seven Tennessee players, including four from the Knoxville area, are in the group. They are headlined by receiver Preston Williams, a 247Sports five-star, four-star offensive lineman Jack Jones and four-star linebacker Cecil Cherry.

Athlete Jaylond Woods (transferred from Lenoir City to Clinton), offensive lineman Zach Stewart (Coalfield) and defensive end Dylan Jackson (Maryville) are the other Knoxville-area commitments.

Tennessee's class currently sits 12th and 13th in the national team rankings according to 247Sports and Rivals.com, respectively.

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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