JJ Peterson listed Alabama as his leader for almost a year before committing to Tennessee last weekend at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The reason for the change of heart had everything to do with Jeremy Pruitt taking the job at Tennessee.
Peterson’s closest relationship with any college coach is Pruit, mainly because the 4-star linebacker’s from Colquitt County High School (Moultrie, Ga.) is Rush Propst. Propst hired Pruitt to be his special teams coordinator before promoting him to defensive coordinator at Hoover (Ala.) High School. Propst and Pruitt remain good friends to this day.
The Army All-American will make his first-ever trip to Knoxville this weekend (yes, he committed to Tennessee without ever visiting). Pruitt was a major reason why he chose the Vols but not the only one.
“I have a strong connection with Coach Pruitt and [defensive coordinator] Coach [Kevin] Sherrer,” Peterson said. “I also have two former teammates there [Shawn Shamburger and Jay Blakely]. I know people there.”
But, apparently, he’s still giving consideration to Alabama because Peterson plans to visit Tuscaloosa next weekend, according to Propst, which is the biggest recruiting weekend for the Tide. Alabama will celebrate its national championship win on the 20th. In addition to Peterson, 5-star prospects Tyson Campbell, Patrick Surtain Jr and Nicholas Petit-Frere will be there, too. Justyn Ross, the state’s top prospect, will take an official visit that weekend as well.
It’s going to be a very important weekend for the Tide and now Peterson makes it that much bigger.