As a junior Ainge threw for 2,559 yards. This season he completed 209-of-344 passes for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. The nephew of former NBA star Danny Ainge, Erik is also a Division I basketball prospect but plans to concentrate on football in college.
Ainge burst on the national scene during the summer while attending NorCal Nike Camp and the EA Sports Elite 11 workout where he displayed the strongest arm of any prospect other than No. 1 rated Anthony Morelli who committed to Pittsburgh. A stress fracture prevented Ainge from accepting an invitation to the Elite 11 camp in July.
The commitment comes just two days after quarterback prospect Chase Patton announced he would stay home and sign with Missouri. Patton and Ainge both took their official visit to Tennessee on Nov. 21, a week after they took their official visit to UCLA.
"I really like the players and coaches and I got along with everyone so well," Ainge said of his visit to Knoxville. "I felt very comfortable there and at Tennessee I can get early playing time."
Brian Brohm is scheduled to visit Louisville officially this weekend and could have an announcement soon after as to the school he intends to sign with. Brohm visited UT last weekend along with Florida quarterback prospect Brent Schaeffer, who was honored at half-time of Monday night's Miami-Philadelphia football game as Broward County's player of the year.
Schaeffer, rated No. 19 by The Insiders, has visits scheduled to Kansas State and South Florida but may decide to make a commitment prior to completing his visits now that UT's openings at quarterback are down to one. He is believed to be favoring UT.
Ainge chose Tennessee over Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon and Oregon State.