Alan Posey realized it was a special day as soon as he opened his eyes.
Tuesday was far from ordinary for Tennessee's newest football commitment.
Not only did the offensive lineman from Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga., finally announce he would play for the Vols, but by doing so he memorialized a man he never got to know.
Posey's grandfather died on May 4 when Posey was just 2 years old. So Posey picked May 4 to announce his path for the future, while remembering his family's past.
"I thought about him this morning when I woke up," the 6-foot-6, 305-pound Posey said shortly after becoming UT's second commitment for the 2011 signing class behind linebacker Christian Harris from Etowah High in Woodstock, Ga. "I never really got a chance to know him, but I always felt like I had a little bond. It was a happy day."
Posey also had scholarship offers from LSU, Louisville, West Virginia, Maryland and Illinois among others, but whittled his list of potential suitors down to UT and Clemson last month.
UT was long thought to be his choice, but Posey kept the secret so he could make his announcement to honor his grandfather.
By announcing his commitment so early, Posey can now focus on his senior season.
"My goal was to make my decision and let it be known so I can focus on winning state, focus on my team," Posey said.
Posey, who plans to enroll in January, said he'll take one official visit this fall, to UT for the Oregon game.
While the Vols certainly pulled away from the other schools in the last few weeks, Clemson proved to be worthy competition.
"I just felt like Tennessee was a better fit for me," Posey said. "I liked Clemson. There wasn't a bad thing about Clemson. I just liked Tennessee more."
Posey repeatedly said he had a good feeling each time he visited UT's campus.
He frequently cited a meeting with Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt as one of the most impressive aspects of his UT tour.
Posey had strong ties to UT's football coaching staff.
Head coach Derek Dooley and offensive line coach Chuck Smith both attended Clarke Central. Dooley's father, Vince Dooley, coached at Georgia for 25 seasons and won a national championship.
Posey often said in his recruitment that he would like to be on a team with two other Clarke Central Gladiators. However, Vince Dooley had little effect on his decision.
"I knew Coach (Derek) Dooley was a good coach regardless of who his dad was," Posey said. "He used to be at LSU and won a national championship. I knew he was a good coach."
Early playing time seemingly would have played into Posey's decision. The Vols are woefully thin on the offensive line. Yet Posey didn't seem married to (or promised) early playing time.
"I'm going to go in and work my tail off," he said. "Whatever they want me to play, I'll play it and see if I can get in."
UT's one perceived weakness - its team - proved to be a strength. If the Vols struggle to post a winning record this season, Posey won't hold it against them.
"I wouldn't really want to go to a school, i.e. Alabama, that's already a powerhouse," Posey said. "I want to go somewhere and build a program back up and win championships."
Linebacker Christian Harris from Etowah High in Woodstock, Ga., was Dooley’s first commitment.