Breaking News: Derek Dooley picked up commitment No. 17 when in-state athlete Tino Thomas apparently committed to the Vols Friday afternoon.
"Tennessee is an up-and-coming program," Thomas told InsideTennessee.com on Friday evening. "Coach Dooley is building something special at UT, something I want to be a part of."
Thomas, who is being recruited at Tennessee by Coach Charlie Baggett, is being recruited to play cornerback for the Vols.
"They are telling me they need my size and speed to play corner in the SEC," Thomas said. "I'm very excited about my decision."
Apparently Thomas isn't the only one excited.
"Coach Dooley and Coach Baggett were very excited when I called them," Thomas said. "I just got off the phone with the UT coaching staff at their hotel."
Thomas, who is the brother of Miami star running back Craig Cooper, has been timed in the 40 at 4.4 seconds.
Thomas' Melrose team played Thursday night, giving the standout athlete time to give the Vols the good news Friday evening.
"I'm glad my decision is behind me, it feels really good," Thomas said. "Now I can finish off my senior season."