WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (WATE) -- Jonathan Crompton still has a year to play at Tuscola High School, but Friday he told the Tennessee Vols he'll accept a scholarship to play football in 2005.
Officially, UT football coaches can't comment on the situation because scholarship papers aren't signed yet. But there has to be some happiness at the UT football office after learning their possible quarterback of the future has committed to be a Vol.
Crompton was clearly pleased too.
"Being from North Carolina, this part of North Carolina, I don't know -- it's just something inside me that says this is where you need to be," the 6’3", 205-lb. senior quarterback said.
Crompton will follow in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, Heath Shuler, who played for the Vols in 1992 and 1993 and is from nearby Bryson City, N.C. But that's not why Crompton reached his decision to play at Tennessee.
"I didn't want people saying, 'Well you're going there because Heath influenced you. I just want everybody to know that he didn't have any say so. He didn't talk about it," Crompton said.
Though Shuler wouldn't take any credit, he was also pleased with Crompton's announcement. "I have to give the right advice, and it's his decision where he wants to go to school. Sure, deep down inside I was hoping he'd put that orange hat on."
Crompton still has one more season to call at Tuscola, but he's confident that he'll feel right at home when he heads for Tennessee.
"How can you turn something like this down? I mean, playing in front of 108,000 people, doing the Vol walk. I mean, there's not much more you can ask for about anything."
Tuscola head coach Travis Noland wasn't surprised by Crompton's announcement. He was with his star quarterback on Crompton's first campus visit nearly two years ago.
"He looked down that hill and saw that sea of orange and he turned to me then as a fifteen-year-old sophomore. and he said, 'Coach, how could any kid in America say no to that?' And so I think from that day forward Tennessee has always been the place he's wanted to play," Noland said.
Though it's just a verbal commitment, Vol fans shouldn't fear Crompton will make a change of heart.
"Don't worry about it," he insists. "I'm done. I'm a Vol."