Exactly one week after reopening his recruitment, defensive end Jamarcus Chatman committed to Tennessee on Sunday.
The former LSU pledge was a surprise visitor for ‘Orange Carpet Day’ last Saturday, and the 3-star Rome (Ga.) standout pretty much made up his mind before ever leaving campus.
Chatman quickly decommitted from LSU the next day, and then he went home to marinate on his future decision.
It didn’t take long.
On Sunday, the 6-foot-2, 266-pound defensive lineman became the 15th member of Tennessee’s #DOM1N8 class — and the third commit in two days to hail from the Peach State.
“The whole time I was there it just felt right,” Chatman said. “Just the love the coaches showed. Coach (Nathan) Ollie ran up to me and showed me so much love. … It was amazing.”
Chatman holds more than 40 offers, but Tennessee was the first SEC school to extend the defensive lineman a scholarship back in February. He comes from a family full of Vols, too, as his sister-in-law graduated from Tennessee and his brother is a big UT fan.
“My family had told me how great (the school) was,” he said. “When I first visited (several years ago) I didn’t get to really see anything. So (Saturday), I finally visited and fell in love with it.”
Tennessee coaches have been trying to get Chatman on campus for months, so when the defensive end finally met them in person, he immediately connected with DL coach Brady Hoke and LB coach Tommy Thigpen.
“Thigpen, he’s a great guy,” Chatman said. “He’s not like other coaches. He tells it straight.. If you’r hard-nosed and a really good player, he is going to show you love. He’s straight forward, and that's my No. 1.”
Chatman enjoyed hanging around head coach Butch Jones for the first time, saying, “He’s very exciting and keeps u pumped up. I like the D.A.T. way (Details. Accountability. Toughness) slogan.”
Over the last week, Chatman has hardly disguised his tenderness for Tennessee on Twitter. But the defensive end, who helped lead Rome to a state championship in 2016, had to become comfortable with the idea of possibly playing without his high school teammates and close friends Ja’Quon Griffin and Adam Anderson — both current LSU commits — in college.
He showed up in Knoxville last weekend with Griffin — his best buddy and someone whom he’d previously pronounced a package deal with.
“If we happen to not play with each other, that will be fine,” Chatman said, though. “It’s not that must.”
Chatman is at least friends with several other Tennessee 2018 commits, including Georgia receiver Jatavious Harris and 5-star offensive lineman Cade Mays.
“Those are my guys,” Chatman said. “Cade tells me he will treat me like family there. That he’ll always been there to help me.”
Strongside defensive end