Basketball prospect Aaron Craft isn’t ready to volunteer his services to Tennessee, after all.
Craft, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Liberty-Benton High School in Findlay, Ohio, said Tuesday he’s re-opening his recruitment.
“Basically, I sat down with my family and decided this would be best for me,’’ said Craft, who will graduate in the Class of 2010. “It was nothing Tennessee did or didn’t do.’’
Craft said that even though Knoxville is only a 6 1/2- to 7-hour drive from his home, his family wants him even closer than that.
“Playing in (AAU) tournaments in Wisconsin and Arkansas, and then coming back home ... we decided that having this support system and being closer to home was worth looking into,’’ Craft said. “I just wanted to be around people year around, and my mom and dad like the idea of me being closer to home if I need advice or support.’’
Ohio State is now believed to have interest in Craft, while at the time of his commitment, the Buckeyes had not made an offer.
Craft said UT is welcome to continue to recruit him, and confirmed he told the staff as much when they inquired.
Craft averaged 18.5 points, six assists and five rebounds last season and as a quarterback led Liberty-Benton to the state title game in football. This, in addition to carrying a 4.0 GPA and scoring 32 on his ACT.
Craft made a verbal commitment to play for the Vols on Sept. 3, 2008, but much has changed since then.
For starters, his recruiting ranking, and thus, the level of interest other marquee programs have in Craft.
Craft wasn’t listed in the top 150 by Rivals.com at the time of his commitment and was relatively anonymous among most all recruiting services.
Craft has since risen to No. 70 by Rivals, and is rated 18th among all point guards in the Class of 2010.
The Vols have added commitments from two others guards in the Class of 2010, Josh Selby and Jordan McRae, since Craft committed.
Selby, who played at DeMatha High in Hyattsville, MD., is the No. 15 player in the Class of 2010 according to Rivals and the No. 3 point guard. The 6-1 Selby made a verbal commitment to attend UT on Sept. 20, 2008.
McRae, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Liberty County (Ga.) High committed that same day. McRae is the No. 37 player in the Class of 2010 and ranked No. 9 among sh ooting guards.
The Vols signed junior college point guard Melvin Goins, of Mount San Jacinto (Calif.) to their most recent signing class on April 15, and Grainger County’s Skylar McBee pledged his services on May 7.
McBee, a 6-2 combo-guard, turned down scholarship offers from Marshall and Santa Clara to join UT as a walk-on this summer with hopes of earning a scholarship after his freshman year.