Nash Nance and his family were just collateral damage.
After all, Georgia fans couldn't have been mad at the quarterback from Calhoun (Ga.) High School for committing to Tennessee considering the Bulldogs never offered him a scholarship.
But when Nance's teammate, highly rated receiver Da'Rick Rogers, signed with UT in February, well, that threw Nance in the firing line.
"We got crucified a lot on the Internet," Nance said.
Once Nance and Rogers signed with UT, some recruiting fans accused Nance's father, Mike Nance, of steering Rogers to UT.
MikeNance maintained he was simply an unbiased sounding board for Rogers. Georgia fans didn't believe that even though Nash and Rogers had a relationship that predated their college recruitment.
Now, the two will continue that bond at UT.
"I can't wait," Nance said before arriving for the first session of summer school last week. "I've been waiting ever since signing day. It's been wild. I'm just ready to get everything set and get up there."
And get away from those that nearly crossed the line.
"There weren't any police calls (by the Nances or Rogers)," Nance said. "(But) there were a ton of threats."
Social media networking was the easiest way to send a nasty message.
"Da'Rick and I both got a lot of Facebook messages and wall posts that were insane," Nance said. "Nothing was ever serious - I don't think."
Some fans were brazen enough to send emails from their work accounts, which made them easily traceable.
"I knew it was going to be like that," Nance said. "I guess from an outside point of view I can see where people are coming from (but) not as harsh as they were."
Nance stayed off the computer and didn't answer his phone for days before and after signing day, when Rogers finally went public with his much-anticipated decision.
After the hubbub died down, there eventually was support for the two and their decision. Calhoun coach Hal Lamb was one of the first to back his players, even if he was privately disappointed by their decision.
Lamb has strong ties to two SEC coaching staffs. Both were caught up in the debate.
Lamb is very close to Vanderbilt's coaching staff, according to Nance, who was committed to becoming a Commodore before UT came calling.
Lamb's father, Ray Lamb, is the director of high school relations at Georgia, where Rogers committed before his last-second reversal.
"I'm sure they all wanted Da'Rick to go to Georgia," Nance said. "But coach (Hal) Lamb was real accepting of the fact that we signed with Tennessee. I don't know about his dad. He's a little different breed than our coach."
Rogers, still a bit reclusive, couldn't be reached for comment by the News Sentinel so Nance offered some insight into his decision.
"The (UT) coaches are a lot more professional," Nance said, comparing UT's and Georgia's recruitment of Rogers. "He had a lot of bad dealings with Georgia coaches."
Nance said he knew that Rogers was reconsidering his decision and liked UT, but wasn't sure who he would sign with until signing day.
"It wouldn't have surprised me if he would have pulled out a Richmond scholarship, signed it and gone there," Nance said.
That was one of the rare, recent miscommunications for Nance and Rogers.
The two were known for their on-field chemistry at Calhoun as Nance set most of the school's passing records and Rogers set several state receiving records.
"It's crazy really, just some of the stuff we did during the season together," Nance said. "I knew where to put the ball and he knew where the ball was going to be before he turned around."
It would be asking a lot of Nance to contend for playing time this fall as a freshman, but the Vols may need help at quarterback.
Junior college transfer Matt Simms leads mid-term enrollee Tyler Bray after their spring practice competition. Neither cemented themselves as a starter.
As for Nance, he believes he is ready.
"I think physically I am," Nance said. "Mentally and the speed of the game, it's going to be a lot different.
"I believe I'm ready to come up there and play. I've just got to get used to the difference (in levels). It's going to be a big change but I'm ready for the challenge.
"I'm glad we picked the right school."