football Edit

Four-star CB Warren Burrell commits to Tennessee

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This was not easy for Warren Burrell.

The four-star cornerback out of Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett had it down to Florida, NC State and Tennessee and he struggled with the decision before committing to the Vols.

What led him to Rocky Top?

Jeremy Pruitt, the new head coach in Knoxville played a role and Burrell gets into that, just how close the race really was and what commitment means to him.

IN HIS WORDS

"For a long time, it was really a three way tie between Florida, NC State and Tennessee, but this last week, it came down to Florida and Tennessee before I chose Tennessee," said Burrell.

"My leaders switched a couple of times. I can see each of my three finalists had the lead over the last two weeks. The closer it got to my decision, the tougher it got for me to be honest.

"I really had the time to think about what I wanted in a school, what I wanted beyond school, how I could best achieve my dreams of reaching the NFL and Tennessee checked all the boxes for me.

"I let coach Pruitt know my decision last Saturday (July 21). I hit him up on Facetime and he was at home with the family. He went to a place where we could talk and I asked him if he would take my commitment. I saw a smile go across his face and he said, 'of course I would'. He celebrated a little bit, he sent me some text messages later about how excited he was to have me join Vol Nation and things like that.

"I let coach Fair know after that and he was really excited. It was just a really good feeling overall for all of us.

"The thing I really love about Tennessee is the home environment. Coach Pruitt, coach Fair, coach Kelly and the entire staff make it feel like home. It has that family feel for me and it is a place I can spend the next three or four years of my life at and be happy. That is very important to me.

"Coach Pruitt being a defensive guy and knowing a lot about defensive backs definitely played a big role in my decision. He has had a lot of success at Alabama, he has been a part of multiple national championships and having the chance to learn under him I feel will make me a much better defensive back. That is a huge plus.

"I think coach Pruitt is really changing things at Tennessee. I really like his attitude, his confidence and they way he thinks. He is a master-mind with defense and overall, I see him changing the whole attitude of the team and create a much more aggressive style of play for the whole team. He has a plan and I like it. I feel Tennessee will get their swag back.

"I am really at peace now. It is a big weight lifted off my shoulders and I have slept better. I am not thinking about it anymore, I know where I am going to school and I only have to worry about getting better now.

"It was very tough to get to this point, but I am so blessed to be in this position. I have dreamed about this since I was little, so it is all a blessing. To make a decision like this, no matter how hard it is, it is a blessing and I thank God for the opportunity to do this.

"I am done with recruiting. I am going to be at Tennessee. That is my next home. My decision has been made."

RIVALS REACTION

Burrell was a top priority for the Vols, so this is a very big get for that staff. Pruitt's history with defensive backs played a big role here. This decision was not made as early as some may have thought. Tennessee had to work hard to beat the Gators and Wolfpack. Burrell gives Tennessee a cornerback with great length, good ball skills and confidence that he can cover anyone in the SEC. He won a state title last season, so he is a winner and he will take that mind-set to Tennessee with him. This is a big get for the Vols as Pruitt looks to turn the program around.