Tennessee football coach Butch Jones has gained another high-profile brick for which to build Team 118.
Josh Malone of Station Camp High School in Gallatin (rated as a 4-star recruit by 247Sports and in the 247Composite, but as a 5-star by Rivals) gave his verbal commitment to the Vols on Wednesday afternoon, picking Tennessee during a ceremony at his high school and on national television on NBC Sports Network.
Malone began his press conference by reading from a prepared statement, thanking God "for the ability to play football," his family for its support, coaches in the recruiting process and all of his Station Camp teammates and coaches. After taking a deep breath, he uttered the words Tennessee fans have been waiting to hear.
"Finally, after several family discussions and hours of prayer, I have decided to play football for the University of Tennessee," he said.
Malone, who won the Class AAA Mr. Football Back award on Monday, is ranked as the No. 44 overall player in the nation (the No. 5 wide receiver) by the industry-generated 247Sports Composite. He chose Tennessee over Clemson, Georgia, Florida State and Ohio State.
"I chose Tennessee just because I felt like I had a better opportunity there," Malone said on The Sports Dash broadcast.
Malone, who is 6-foot-2.5 and 190 pounds, finished this past season with 71 receptions for 1,404 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns. He also had 23 rushes for 227 yards and three scores to lead Station Camp to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.