Jarnell Stokes to reveal college choice on Thursday; Vols in the mix

Vols among six finalists

MEMPHIS - Highly-rated power forward prospect Jarnell Stokes will announce his college plans Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Fino Villa in Collierville.

The 6-8, 255-pound Stokes graduated from Southwind High last week, and plans to enroll in January at either Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee or the University of Memphis.

Stokes, whom Rivals.com rated the No. 11 overall prospect nationally when Stokes was still part of the Class of 2012, can play this season for a school that has an athletic scholarship available once he's attending classes and is cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Memphis, however, does not have an athletic scholarship for Stokes, who could practice with the Tigers this spring if he enrolls in January but wouldn't be eligible to play until the fall of 2012.

His father, Willie Stokes, said four of the six schools his son is considering — Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida and Tennessee — have athletic scholarships available for him in January.

Willie Stokes said by text Tuesday afternoon that his son had already made his decision. However, later Tuesday, Stokes' father retracted that statement, saying his son hadn't yet made up his mind.

Stokes, who transferred to Southwind from Central High last summer, was ruled athletically ineligible at Southwind by Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association executive director Bernard Childress in August due to transfer rules.

His hardship appeal to the TSSAA Board of Control was denied last month, leaving him ineligible to play his senior season at Southwind.

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Comments » 61

iowavol writes:

Clearly we need help.

Ironcity writes:

I think this decision will define Martin for the good or bad. I really don't feel good about this but you never know.

tennrich1 writes:

Man I hope I'm wrong but I still think Arkansas is the team to beat....But he probably sees the floor immediately with the Vols...lets wait and see what CCM can do....I do however think he wants to leave Memphis but his dad will have the most input....

keepitreal4vols writes:

I sure hope his GPS destination says 37916.

lomas98 writes:

Other than transfers I have never seen a player be able to enroll and play the second semester. I guess an unusual circumstance. I know he is a good player but I can't see how he will mix with whatever team he chooses. At least transfers get to practice with the team, he hasn't done anything. I really hope he chooses Tennessee because we need some kind of positive momentum, but I hope people realize he may be a little out of sync at the beginning and possibly out of shape. Memphis and Florida seem like more logical choices where he can come along a little slowly. Tn fans will expect 30 and 20 every game or will consider him over rated.

Bigger_Al writes:

Come on Mr. Stokes! Make our day/week/Holiday! Play immediately for Cuonzo, and give the Vol Nation the best news we've had since the Elite Eight (only 20 months ago).

bUTchVFL writes:

I'll step out on a limb and predict Jarnell will be eating hot sandwiches at Gus' Deli come January.

vol75 writes:

Stokes sounds like a quality kid. Martin is a quality coach. Tennessee is the best opportunity to get quality minutes in January. Hope it all adds up.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Hope I eat my words, but I just don't see UT in this picture.

born2ride writes:

Stokes is announcing for UT.

It is because we have an open scholarship and Memphis & UK don't. It is not because of Martin's recruiting skills which up to now have been lacking.

Stokes got some bad advice and missed his senior year. He graduated early and that worked out for the Vols.

It was Pearl and Forbes who laid the groundwork. Stokes was a lock for Knoxville. But after Pearl was fired we lost the lead to Memphis. Martin was totally out of it until an available scholarship became the most important factor. Stokes took a surprise trip and that sealed it.

By getting Stokes Martin keeps his job another year or so like Dooley.

Go Big Orange!

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to born2ride:

Stokes is announcing for UT.

It is because we have an open scholarship and Memphis & UK don't. It is not because of Martin's recruiting skills which up to now have been lacking.

Stokes got some bad advice and missed his senior year. He graduated early and that worked out for the Vols.

It was Pearl and Forbes who laid the groundwork. Stokes was a lock for Knoxville. But after Pearl was fired we lost the lead to Memphis. Martin was totally out of it until an available scholarship became the most important factor. Stokes took a surprise trip and that sealed it.

By getting Stokes Martin keeps his job another year or so like Dooley.

Go Big Orange!

I don't care why he will choose us or who laid the ground work right now, i just hope we get him..My thank-you note to Pearl and Forbes will come after the fact.

Smokey says come to UT,Jarnell..

lyafarre writes:

For some reason, Jarnell's recruitment reminds me of Tobias'. I hope he ultimately chooses UT, and I'm sure CCM will be able to utilize his talent in a way that CBP couldn't quite do with Tobias (remember how many halves he dominated but never complete games).
Either way, I'm pretty stoked for next year's football and basketball seasons!

NYvolFan writes:

in response to bUTchVFL:

I'll step out on a limb and predict Jarnell will be eating hot sandwiches at Gus' Deli come January.

I lived off those in the 80's while in school at UT. WAY too expensive now...joke price for a small hoagie. 7 bucks?

NYvolFan writes:

Vic (legend on campus from those days) has done the same thing off Alcoa Hwy at Topside...Tiny hoagies for Big bucks...the sandwich biz must be hurting. :-) Where's the Beef?

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's not go that far now. Ellis was a helluv of a player who ended up being one of the best 3 point shooters in the NBA. To imply this kid is even half as good as Ellis is a stretch at best.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Lane_Kiffins_Daddy_Wears_Diapers:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think we are last on the short list. Hope I'm wrong. Kid has a bright future with the Vols if he were to chose them.

TennHillbilly writes:

I wouldn't put much money on Stokes coming to play for UT. His comments state otherwise.

"I haven’t narrowed my list down but I have a very strong top six. They are Arkansas, Memphis, Florida, Tennessee, UConn and Kentucky.
And at Tennessee, I was really high on them before [former head coach] Bruce Pearl got fired but the new coaching staff seems cool. Although, our relationship isn’t up to par like it is with the other coaching staffs which is kind of hurting their chances. They just really haven’t had as much time. They’ve been recruiting me since day one but they just got there. "

http://recruitingspotlight.wordpress....

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Come to UT young man!

Go Vols!

AirForceVol2786 writes:

I dont think Stokes will choose UT, but his girlfriend is at UT. That may help.

NOOGAVOL writes:

in response to AirForceVol2786:

I dont think Stokes will choose UT, but his girlfriend is at UT. That may help.

His best friend is also at UT.....Cameron Clear!

FanNotSheep writes:

Right now, based on what I have seen on the court and in his early recruiting efforts, I give Martin a 10-15 percent chance of being Tennessee's basketball coach three years from today. But if he somehow lands Stokes it could be a real turning point. Cannot overstate the importance of this decision to the immediate future of Tennessee basketball.

PHAT_VOL writes:

Welcome Jarnell

SIMSVOL writes:

in response to born2ride:

Stokes is announcing for UT.

It is because we have an open scholarship and Memphis & UK don't. It is not because of Martin's recruiting skills which up to now have been lacking.

Stokes got some bad advice and missed his senior year. He graduated early and that worked out for the Vols.

It was Pearl and Forbes who laid the groundwork. Stokes was a lock for Knoxville. But after Pearl was fired we lost the lead to Memphis. Martin was totally out of it until an available scholarship became the most important factor. Stokes took a surprise trip and that sealed it.

By getting Stokes Martin keeps his job another year or so like Dooley.

Go Big Orange!

you and so many like you are clueless. let the basketball and football coaches coach and bring their respective teams back to the top without your ignorant comments. we have great coaches on board and it's going to take time to rebuild after what our programs have been through. Sit back and watch. Go VOLS!

SIMSVOL writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

Right now, based on what I have seen on the court and in his early recruiting efforts, I give Martin a 10-15 percent chance of being Tennessee's basketball coach three years from today. But if he somehow lands Stokes it could be a real turning point. Cannot overstate the importance of this decision to the immediate future of Tennessee basketball.

clueless!

vols1990 writes:

does any one know if he enrolls in january if that counts as his year for the one and done rule, or if he will have to stay through next year wherever he decides to go?

TennHillbilly writes:

Latest story may cancel out my previous post. According to reports, Stokes is deciding among 3 teams and UT is one of the top 2. GBO
http://www.mrsec.com/2011/12/jarnell-...

movol77 writes:

in response to born2ride:

Stokes is announcing for UT.

It is because we have an open scholarship and Memphis & UK don't. It is not because of Martin's recruiting skills which up to now have been lacking.

Stokes got some bad advice and missed his senior year. He graduated early and that worked out for the Vols.

It was Pearl and Forbes who laid the groundwork. Stokes was a lock for Knoxville. But after Pearl was fired we lost the lead to Memphis. Martin was totally out of it until an available scholarship became the most important factor. Stokes took a surprise trip and that sealed it.

By getting Stokes Martin keeps his job another year or so like Dooley.

Go Big Orange!

Pearl elevated UT basketball but in the process he repeatedly cheated and lied about it. He was found guilty. UT got penalized. Pearl got fired. Martin got hired. He inherited a vacated mess. Get real.

Hickmc writes:

I was wondering if you had noticed all the comments on your earlier link were from this past June. Lets keep our fingers crossed!!! Go Vols!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Ironcity:

I think this decision will define Martin for the good or bad. I really don't feel good about this but you never know.

I would say that getting Stokes would be a strong mark in Martin's favor, but not getting him wouldn't be a fatal blow. As is the case with most of the top stars, several schools have been courting him for years. Martin hasn't had as much time in his ear. The fact that he was strongly considering UT earlier might make up for that to some extent. If it is also true that his girlfriend is here and he is great friends with Cameron Clear, that should help also. We would just have to see how ready he is to compete right away, but the symbolism of getting him should open the eyes of some other high-level recruits as well. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. If we get him, great; if not, it's not the end of the world.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor hope he signs with the Vols. Witch Doctor always worry when these announce early..Witch Doctor always thought a later or early signing period worked better if picking Vols. Witch Doctors fingers crossed..we need him badly.
Bones never lie.

dlukinbeck writes:

in response to born2ride:

Stokes is announcing for UT.

It is because we have an open scholarship and Memphis & UK don't. It is not because of Martin's recruiting skills which up to now have been lacking.

Stokes got some bad advice and missed his senior year. He graduated early and that worked out for the Vols.

It was Pearl and Forbes who laid the groundwork. Stokes was a lock for Knoxville. But after Pearl was fired we lost the lead to Memphis. Martin was totally out of it until an available scholarship became the most important factor. Stokes took a surprise trip and that sealed it.

By getting Stokes Martin keeps his job another year or so like Dooley.

Go Big Orange!

seriously im more and more convinced UT fans are the worst there is. what makes you so ademant to hate our current coaching staff and to be so impatient not to give him a bit of a chance (until conference play maybe?).

so what if pearl laid the groundwork, martin is looking to finish. this season has not really looked much different from last season. losses to austin peay--- charlotte sound familiar? loss to CofC --- much less than last years loss to the cougars, and in their house!

you Vol haters that somehow think you're being a part of the fanbase by constantly talking smack about our own teams and rallying support to spread more hate to them truly disgusts me. go sit at home and play World of Warcraft until your prozav RX gets refilled... then come back to being a supporting fan.

TheRealDragonSlayer writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor hope he signs with the Vols. Witch Doctor always worry when these announce early..Witch Doctor always thought a later or early signing period worked better if picking Vols. Witch Doctors fingers crossed..we need him badly.
Bones never lie.

Hey, Witchie...I would normally make a statement on this, but I seem to be jinxing our team when making statements on what might happen (case in point, the 20-win season I predicted for our bball team this year)...so I am going to only comment on what has happened already, or what I want...never a statement of belief on what I expect to happen.

Having said that, I hope Stokes signs with us. I would be stoked. Sorry, couldnt help that last one :)

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to TheRealDragonSlayer:

Hey, Witchie...I would normally make a statement on this, but I seem to be jinxing our team when making statements on what might happen (case in point, the 20-win season I predicted for our bball team this year)...so I am going to only comment on what has happened already, or what I want...never a statement of belief on what I expect to happen.

Having said that, I hope Stokes signs with us. I would be stoked. Sorry, couldnt help that last one :)

Witch Doctor hear ya..Witch Doctor not gonna pick scores for a while either! lol. Witch Doctor believe he is an early enrollie? Witch Doctor say we need this kid..gonna downplay it if we dont(lol) but we really do.
Bones never lie.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I would say that getting Stokes would be a strong mark in Martin's favor, but not getting him wouldn't be a fatal blow. As is the case with most of the top stars, several schools have been courting him for years. Martin hasn't had as much time in his ear. The fact that he was strongly considering UT earlier might make up for that to some extent. If it is also true that his girlfriend is here and he is great friends with Cameron Clear, that should help also. We would just have to see how ready he is to compete right away, but the symbolism of getting him should open the eyes of some other high-level recruits as well. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. If we get him, great; if not, it's not the end of the world.

Well said!

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

in response to Count__Itsvan_Teleky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It continues to amaze me how people view Coach Martin as though he has been here 3 to 5 years and hasn't made any progress. The man isn't even half way through his first season. Not even gotten into conference play yet. This team is limited in talent. Don't see you throwing negative vibes Pearls way for not leaving anything for Coach Martin to work with. Seriously Dude you need to research before you post.

volboy81 writes:

ah yes...Bernard Childress...always looking out for the student-athlete's best interest!...just ask Jarnell or Signal Mtn. or Knoxville Grace or Treadwell...We need Hancock or Carter back running the show and this Childress clown needs to go get a job hes good at!...but I digress..I hope we get Stokes. He could really help a struggling BB team. They showed some heart and effort last night after being down 11 to UNCA and coming back to win. I hope Jarnell ends up in Big Orange Country!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Count__Itsvan_Teleky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Martin has at least as good a chance of getting Stokes as you have of making a civil post, although as a Vol fan, I would have to say that doesn't make our chances look that good.

volfan2002 writes:

Do we need a 6'8" 255 lb. 5 star post player. Yes!!!

voloffaith writes:

in response to Count__Itsvan_Teleky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ah yes mister disrespectful.....oooh got ya! Thought I was gonna play in your raindear gayme. Not so......wahhhhh cry all the way back to one of your other poster names..or better yet go back to being Barney Fife's backup vocalist in Mayberry.....

Bigger_Al writes:

Cuonzo will be fine. I just read the SI piece on Summitt and Kzeweswskiwwiski (sp?), and good young coaches need time. They learn with every loss, and they have to get their system in place. Kzeweskcfrski lost BIG at Duke his first two years and was called into the AD office. He thought he might get fired, but instead got a five year contract.

And let's not forget, UT is a very good program. Top 10 attendance, six NCAA's in a row, terrific facilities. Cuonzo really didn't have a chance to recruit last Spring, getting in so late, but some of those guys look like players. Maymon looks like a beast in the making. We're going to get better and better as the season progresses.

westknoxrepub writes:

in response to Bigger_Al:

Cuonzo will be fine. I just read the SI piece on Summitt and Kzeweswskiwwiski (sp?), and good young coaches need time. They learn with every loss, and they have to get their system in place. Kzeweskcfrski lost BIG at Duke his first two years and was called into the AD office. He thought he might get fired, but instead got a five year contract.

And let's not forget, UT is a very good program. Top 10 attendance, six NCAA's in a row, terrific facilities. Cuonzo really didn't have a chance to recruit last Spring, getting in so late, but some of those guys look like players. Maymon looks like a beast in the making. We're going to get better and better as the season progresses.

Everyone talks about young coaches needing time, but Tennessee cannot afford to wait four years before we MIGHT start winning. We had six years of sustained success under Pearl, and it's all thrown off the rails this year because of overreaction to ONE lie (not repeated as someone said earlier), which he later admitted and apologized for on his own accord. Martin is in over his head, and if he lands Stokes it's only because of happenstance (even Gary Parrish stated the kid would be better off going to Florida), but even landing Stokes doesn't mean ONE player can carry a team full of Atlantic Sun cast offs. Martin needs to show more consistant recruiting at a high level, his "system" of recruiting lower teir talent to mold into his system isn't going to win SEC Championships because Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A&M will always have more talented players.

Dooley at this point is a lost cause, his recruiting isn't bad on the surface, but his managment style and his total lack of respect from the players means he'll never get the job done here. We should have fired him this year, but we lack the intestinal fortitude to do so, so next year we get to suffer through a 4 win season.

manniesghost1903 writes:

in response to movol77:

Pearl elevated UT basketball but in the process he repeatedly cheated and lied about it. He was found guilty. UT got penalized. Pearl got fired. Martin got hired. He inherited a vacated mess. Get real.

And yet Calipari (Kentucky) and Calhoun (Connecticut) lie and cheat and they're still coaching. Go figure.

volsn3 writes:

This guy is about Me, Me, Me. The "TEAM" doesn't need that.

voloffaith writes:

in response to westknoxrepub:

Everyone talks about young coaches needing time, but Tennessee cannot afford to wait four years before we MIGHT start winning. We had six years of sustained success under Pearl, and it's all thrown off the rails this year because of overreaction to ONE lie (not repeated as someone said earlier), which he later admitted and apologized for on his own accord. Martin is in over his head, and if he lands Stokes it's only because of happenstance (even Gary Parrish stated the kid would be better off going to Florida), but even landing Stokes doesn't mean ONE player can carry a team full of Atlantic Sun cast offs. Martin needs to show more consistant recruiting at a high level, his "system" of recruiting lower teir talent to mold into his system isn't going to win SEC Championships because Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas A&M will always have more talented players.

Dooley at this point is a lost cause, his recruiting isn't bad on the surface, but his managment style and his total lack of respect from the players means he'll never get the job done here. We should have fired him this year, but we lack the intestinal fortitude to do so, so next year we get to suffer through a 4 win season.

Phone calls,BBQ,illegal bump,LYING.....Don't get me wrong , I liked Pearl til this and dumping his wife/mother of their children. I would tell you Merry CHRISTmas......oh well...Merry CHRISTmas !!! I don't care if you bah humbug....

cooper65#432178 writes:

in response to lomas98:

Other than transfers I have never seen a player be able to enroll and play the second semester. I guess an unusual circumstance. I know he is a good player but I can't see how he will mix with whatever team he chooses. At least transfers get to practice with the team, he hasn't done anything. I really hope he chooses Tennessee because we need some kind of positive momentum, but I hope people realize he may be a little out of sync at the beginning and possibly out of shape. Memphis and Florida seem like more logical choices where he can come along a little slowly. Tn fans will expect 30 and 20 every game or will consider him over rated.

Your last sentence is so true. FB, BB, Soccer, it makes no difference, Vol fans are so impatient. The football and basketball programs are in shambles. Basketball can be fixed with one or two big signings, but you have to give the kids and coaches a chance. There were many on this forum calling for Martin's scalp after the second loss.

FanNotSheep writes:

I hope I am wrong, but my guess is Cuonzo will be one of those coaches people will have a hard time recalling twenty or thirty years from now when thinking back on how long it took for Tennessee basketball to regain even a fraction of the status it held under Bruce Pearl.

Real quick and don't google it: Who was UT's coach before Mears? Who was the interim coach after Mears and before DeVoe? See what I mean?

movinonup writes:

Board comment from Commercial Appeal (Memphis paper):

Sources close to the situation say he is for sure committing to Tennessee Note that his older brother also goes to Tennessee and that Memphis has not recruited him in weeks!! We need Tony Parker, not Stokes

underthehill writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

I hope I am wrong, but my guess is Cuonzo will be one of those coaches people will have a hard time recalling twenty or thirty years from now when thinking back on how long it took for Tennessee basketball to regain even a fraction of the status it held under Bruce Pearl.

Real quick and don't google it: Who was UT's coach before Mears? Who was the interim coach after Mears and before DeVoe? See what I mean?

Can't see any reasoning for this conclusion. Martin has a strong background (NBA and college) that should serve him well in attracting pro prospects. Most college prospects think they have a chance to be NBA whether they do or not. They want that chance and I think they have reason to believe Martin improves that chance. If Stokes comes to TN it will be huge for Martin. I have seen absolutely no reason thus far to be critical of Martin.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

This makes me sooooo nervous. NOT! Stokes needs to go where he'll grow as a player and the best place for that IS UT. Do you see any Memphis players growing much?(low blow to their coach I know). Seriously his time on court would start very early here. He would be gone as early as his sophmore season. We say, "thanks and have a great career", and "bye". WE STILL NEED YOU STOKES!

volcraze writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dale Ellis---Slammin' in the Smokies-----Lets hope so!

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