Mo Burnam has the odd distinction of being both the fourth and the first commit of Tennessee’s 2017 recruiting class.
After quarterback Hunter Johnson, wideout Tee Higgins and defensive lineman Jordon Riley pledged themselves to the Vols — all eventually de-committed from UT at one time or another — Burnam committed to the program during their Junior Day in March, becoming Tennessee’s latest inaugural 2017 pledge.
Only, Burnam has stuck around ever since.
The 6-foot-2, 219-pound linebacker from Salem High School (Conyers, Ga.) chose UT over Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville and others.
“I just loved the environment, the people, the facilities,” Burnam said. “Everything was great. It was just a great vibe.”
Tennessee nearly came calling too late though, as the 3-star linebacker was originally set to commit to FSU in February before receiving an offer from the Vols.
Instead, the Peach State’s 93rd-ranked prospect “decided to wait and see what Tennessee was all about.”
“Then when I went they just treated me like family,” Burnam explained. “It was a way better fit.”
While the Seminoles and Tar Heels continue to recruit the linebacker, Burnam said he’s “solid” with Tennessee.
“I love those orange jerseys,” he added.
Five things to know
He’s first name is De’Morreal, but he’s been called Mo his whole life: “I couldn’t ever say my whole name, so I always just said ‘De-Mo’ when I was younger. So my mom just started calling me Mo.”
He fell for Tennessee right away: “Really, with Coach (Butch) Jones, they don’t treat you like everybody else do. When it comes to all your visits and everything, they actually treat you like you’re already one of them. It’s just really cool how close we became so fast.”
His favorite player is a fellow Georgia native who went on to star at Tennessee: “I try to model my game after (former Vols safety) Deon Grant. Just real aggressive and fast but also really good at coverage. A big hitter. I want to wear either No. 1 or No. 7 — that’s what Deon Grant used to wear.”
He’s buddies and workout partners with fellow Tennessee commit and Peach State linebacker Jaquan Henderson: “We’re real close friends. We have the same trainer so we be training with each other from time to time.”
He’s locked down three official visits already: “Tennessee for sure. North Carolina and FSU. I just have to decide on the others.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports Composite unless otherwise noted.
Jesse Simonton covers Tennessee football and recruiting for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and SECCountry.com