UT gives Walls enough chills for commitment

Linebacker who grew up in Memphis drops Ole Miss for Vols

Marlon Walls signs with UT

Marlon Walls

Photo by Rivals.com photo

Marlon Walls

All Marlon Walls needed was a reason to pursue his dream, and Ed Orgeron’s firing from Ole Miss was just that.

“If that would have never happened,” the 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker said Saturday after committing to Tennessee. “I would have probably still been going to Ole Miss and made a huge mistake.”

It seemed UT always had a shot at Walls, even when he made the curious decision to commit to be a Rebel in November. Commitment to Ole Miss or not, Walls had often called UT his “dream school” last summer.

Still, proximity and a close relationship with Orgeron and assistant coach Hugh Freeze made Ole Miss appealing. But UT was never far from Wall’s mind.

“That’s always been my dream, the place I always wanted to go,” Walls said.

In-state pressure was once considered a plus for UT until Walls moved from Wooddale High School in Memphis to Olive Branch (Miss.) High. Suddenly, Walls went from being the News Sentinel’s fourth best prospect in the state and seemingly destined to sign with UT to being surrounded by Ole Miss fans.

But once Orgeron and Freeze were gone, neither fans nor newly hired Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt could convince Walls to stay in-state.

“It was pretty easy,” Walls said of changing his mind. “I would say it was easier than what I thought it would be.”

Walls has been to most of the schools in the SEC, but strangely enough had never been to, the school he was most infatuated with, UT. His first visit to Knoxville was Jan. 11.

“I had chills from the moment I was there to the moment I left,” Walls said. “I didn’t want to leave. It turned out to be more than what I thought it would be.

“None of them (other SEC schools) felt the way I felt when I went down there (to Knoxville).”

With any prospect that decommits, there’s usually concern about just how committed he is to his new school. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Walls.

“I’m happy with where I’m at,” said Walls, who also considered Florida last summer. “It can’t get any better than that.”

To be so smitten with the Vols, it’s almost hard to believe that Walls could have ended up at Ole Miss had it not been for the Rebels’ coaching change. The whole scenario has taught Walls a lesson.

“I know now that things happen for a reason,” he said.

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Comments » 54

FLVol writes:

Finally a committment how many stars?

thesavageorange writes:

This kid is a 4*.Hopefully Coples will commit today, and get the ball rolling.Hadn't looked good ,but we are not dead yet.Welcome to UT son.

thesavageorange writes:

This is the kind of guy we want at UT.Good story about hi on Rivals.com.Said he had tears in his eyes as he entered K-town.A young man that will put the program 1st and give his all for Tennessee!

dvols writes:

great, did ya'll just see dereck rose!

gohawks1 writes:

Finally some good news!

thesavageorange, do you have a direct link to the Rivals.com story?

vol1994 writes:

finally someone committing to vol nation.

TommyJack writes:

6'2", 225, 4.55 Add 60 el bees of KK's and the man could be a DT.

Vols1998 writes:

1 Down........10 to go. How long since our last commitment? month?

Ok...let's huddle up, game plan...steal some recuits.........BREAK!

thesavageorange writes:

IPOrange ,Sorry I don't.My brother was here a few minutes ago, and I was under his account.Now he won't answer the phone.Hopefully someone else can post it.

thesavageorange writes:

There ya go.Thanks TJ.

gohawks1 writes:

Rivals lists TN at #43 in recruiting so far this year, but it appears that at least 3 four-star recruits have committed to UT since then: Aaron Douglas, Marlon Walls, and Gerald Williams. Check it out (see link below) and then click on TN to see a list of the commits. We should move up in rankings soon.


ONUV writes:

rivals continually keeps team rankings updated. we've been in the 40s after aaraon douglas and gerald williams.

maybe will break into the top 40!


GerryOP writes:

Guess ol' bi-vocational sjt was right. Ain't seen nobody here abouts say anything bad about Good Ol' Phill all day ... and look what happened!

budrhon writes:

Chism should take lessons on looking mean from Mr. Walls,lol.

budrhon writes:

Phenomenal tip in dunk by Derrick Rose.

thesavageorange writes:

I know we need DT's but hopefully Donald Langley can add depth this year.He was the 12 rated DT coming out of HS.Haynesworth was 6-6 320 and Henderson was 6-7 325.If Bolden can gain 30 lbs and an attitude to go w/ it we may be ok.Give that boy some fritters.

dburgVol writes:

Great news! I have been watching him since he was a junior and knew he had UT in his heart. I want to see more in-state kids with that kind of attitude, then we can get all of the Hendersons, Wittens, and Wilsons. Let's gettem Phil, take us back to the late 90's!
GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cgbtn writes:

The recruiting services befuddle me. How can Williams be a 1-star on Scout and a 4-Star on Rivals. I'm glad UT does its own player evaluations and ignores the recruiting services.

DennisVols writes:

I still believe a player earns his stars once he gets on the field at the next level. Too many 5* players never fulfill that status at the college level. Watch the NFL on any given Sunday and see how many 2 & 3* players that went to division II schools because the major universities didn't think they had enough *'s coming out of HS to give them a shot.
This years recruiting class greatness will be determined by their record on the field not by what some recruiting site says prior to them playing their first game.

thesavageorange writes:

Let's not forget that Brandon Warren is set to enroll at UT this summer.Warren was a 5 star player, and it is said since he won his appeal, he will be eligible this yr.If he counted as a 08 recruit and if we could some how get Enrique Davis(another 5*),and a couple of 4*'s it would change the perception of this class.However, lately it's been good news bad news,so I'm bracing myself.

FWBVol writes:

Good points DennisVols, I've said similar things before. Stars beside a kid's name simply mean somebody think they have potential. How many of us are old enough to remember Marcus Dupree out of Philadelphia, Miss., 20 or 25 years ago? He was Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker rolled into one and never did anything at the college level.

In any given year 25 percent or more of the top 100 prospects go from a who's who to a who's that in four years.

I think this can still be a solid class that we can build on. After last year's great class that might be just the ticket, although another great class would be nice as well.

thesavageorange writes:

eVOLution ,Where did you hear about Alexander?I know it was coming down to FSU and UT, but hadn't heard he signed.I hope you are correct.Momentum baby!Chug chug chug.

NickS4117 writes:

Actually he is a 3* on Scout, but regardless this should help the #60 ranking.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Thank the Lord, maybe the late great push has finally started. Get this thang in gear, boys.

Txvol57 writes:

My father lives in Marks, Mississippi and saw Marlon play against South Panola High school. South Panola won the game (like they do every game, they are the Maryville of Mississippi) but they could not stop Walls. Dad said he is the real deal and is a blur on the field. So, I am excited to get him out there. Hopefully he can make an impact like Berry did, but we are so deep at linbacker I don't expect him to play the first year. But, you never know, he could be a very special player.

Txvol57 writes:

No word on Warren yet, I heard he was admitted for school but still waiting for the NCAA to grant him a hardship waiver so he doesn't have to sit out a year. That is the last I heard, has anyone hear anything?

Txvol57 writes:


I have story here posted on January 15th saying he committed to Pitt. Did he de-committ?


Txvol57 writes:


That A.J. Alexander committed to Pitt. Did he de-committ?

mlbrown5454 writes:

That's good, I committed as a grad student with all eligibility remaining. I'm going to fill the d-line void as a 6'1 185 no muscle monster. I haven't been timed running the 40, but I do take the stairs sometimes at work.

Hunter writes:

More promise of some early playing time with Jerod Mayo gone probably contributed to this. Glad to have him!

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

Thank goodness!!

dphilj writes:

High School Seniors cannot sign LOI until signing day in February...

ATLVOL1 writes:

Ainge looked good in senior bowl, Cottam scored a TD.

thesavageorange writes:

govols57 ,Yes Warren is eligible this yr from what I read.He cannot enroll until June,but is not allowed to speak to the coaches until he is enrolled.I don't have the site anymore , but it was written by the Tampa Bay times.(the Tampa Bay something).If I am able to find it again I will gladly post it.

thesavageorange writes:

Actually the way it read was UT has to file for the waiver w/ the Ncaa when he enrolls.They said however, he should not have any problems since he was released from his letter of intent upon the appeal of a earlier denial.Meaning he didn't break any rules by leaving mid semester.You know how news sources are though.I am very hopefull this is correct.He has already proven he can play

rubbervol writes:

Awesome news Marlon---thank you son !
Go Big Orange

bullfrog07 writes:

Should fit well in with Chief's "Mustang" (j/k). Looks like a good pick-up, 6-4 backer. Wonder which position they'll move him too (DE, OG, H-Back). Hopefully he'll stay at backer but at UT you never know.

Hopefully this will pick us up some momentum..

anthony writes:

I believe this guy more than the Clinton's!!

dallasdog1 writes:

lets just tell bolden to imagine the guy across from him is eric ainge and he will kick his ass every down.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

who is warren and what did he do get greyshirted and from what team

volunteer_cowboy writes:

never mind i know who warren is, fla st. tight end. he is only 5'8" and was recruited as a rb not te

FWBVol writes:

Cowboy are you kidding or drunk? Warren is a legit 6-5 stud that was the best player in the state coming out of Alcoa two years ago. He was a freshman AA at FSU. From what I remember too, he also has the physical tools to play DE if he would agree to that change.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

RB NR Brandon Warren
(Jean Ribault HS)
Jacksonville, FL 5-8/154

volunteer_cowboy writes:

this warren is class of 08

andy112382#209793 writes:

volunteer_cowboy.......wow......that is all I can say.....

txsvol#372416 writes:

Scout has a good video of him at OLB. He's good at taking on the blocker at the point of attack, either right or left, and still tackling the ball carrier. He made a couple of plays across the field, and had a QB sack against South Panola. Looks like they ran away from him in the other video, as he didn't do much. Good late recruiting pickup. Kudos to CPF and staff. Go Vols! SAVol

FWBVol writes:

Go figure, a guy is a freshman AA and everybody wants to use his name.

That is weird, but unless the 2008 Warren runs a 4.3 40 the only way he'll get into to Neyland or any other SEC stadium is to buy a ticket.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Marlon, your assignment will be to MAKE SURE I never get the icy chill of watching the Fla side of the scoreboard say 59. Or the Tide 41. Never again. Period.

Welcome aboard, Volunteer.

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