Vols get commitment from 5-star in-state receiver - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Vols get commitment from 5-star in-state receiver

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Josh Malone (right) verbally committed to Tennessee Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of our media partners at The Tennessean/Rick Murray) Josh Malone (right) verbally committed to Tennessee Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of our media partners at The Tennessean/Rick Murray)

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Five University of Tennessee assistant coaches were very visible Monday in Murfreesboro, helping to congratulate several UT commitments upon winning a TSSAA Mr. Football Award.

They were also there to make one last pitch to undecided recruiting targets Josh Malone and Charles Mosley.

It appears their efforts paid off for at least half of that duo.

Malone, who ranks as the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation according to Rivals.com, verbally committed to play for Tennessee during a nationally-televised ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

The Station Camp (Gallatin, TN) standout is the second five-star recruit in the Vols' 2014 commitment class, joining fellow in-state star Jalen Hurd from Beech.

"I chose Tennessee because I felt like I had a better opportunity there," said Malone, who chose the Vols over Clemson, Georgia, Florida State and Ohio State. "Distance wasn't really a factor and I tried to take emotion and proximity to my family out of it because this was a decision for my future."

Malone was named the Class AAA Mr. Football Back of the Year this week after finishing his senior seasons with 71 catches for 1,404 yards and 19 touchdowns. He added five more scores on the ground while racking up 246 yards rushing on 22 carries.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder made his mark on special teams and defense, as well, returning three interceptions and two kickoffs for touchdowns.

Malone received in-home visits from both Tennessee and Clemson this week, and said a late push by Vols' coach Butch Jones and the potential for early playing time helped seal his decision.

"I felt like the opportunity to come in early was better at Tennessee," said Malone, who will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in San Antonio. "I talk to their coaches all the time about their quarterback situation and I feel really comfortable about the guys they have there, like Joshua Dobbs and Riley Ferguson.

"I just felt like it was the right place that fit my comfort level and where I felt like I could most succeed."

Malone's commitment boosted Tennessee back to the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation behind Alabama, per Rivals.com. Jones' staff has now received commitments from 33 players, including 18 that are ranked 4-stars or better.

He is also the seventh in-state commitment in the Vols' 2014 class.

Tennessee hopes to add Mosley, a 6-foot-5, 358-pound 3-star lineman from Brighton High in Tennessee, when he announces his decision later this week.

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