One of Tennessee’s most tenuous commitments flipped on Monday, as running back Kendall Bussey changed his commitment from the Vols to Texas A&M. He confirmed the news, first reported by Texas A&M’s 247Sports site, via his Twitter account, releasing the following statement in the process.
“The recruiting process by no means defines who I am as a person. It’s a business and is treated as such. This is the only time in my life that I get to be selfish and focus on what’s best for me. Because this decision is so important to my future, I want to make sure that I make the right one. Situations constantly change and it took a while for me to find the school and team best for me. On Wednesday, I will be signing my letter of intent to Texas A&M University.
“I want to thank the University of Tennessee for the opportunity to play for such a prestigious program and the fan base for being one of the best and most supportive in the country. Regardless of whether my decision is respected or not, my family and I feel as though it is the best decision for my life during and after college. It’s all over now and I am ready to start a new chapter of my life. #Gig ‘Em”
Bussey, a 5-foot-8, 195-pound back from New Orleans, La., committed to the Vols on Dec. 19, after originally de-committing from Nebraska when former coach Bo Pelini left the Huskers. He visited Knoxville over the final weekend that recruits could take official visits before National Signing Day.
Ranked as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and a three-star by the other major recruiting services, Bussey is a compact, explosive back that the Vols saw as a nice compliment to the backs already on campus and committed to the 2015 class.
The Vols return leading rusher Jalen Hurd next season, but no other scholarship backs. Top-ranked junior college back Alvin Kamara enrolled with Tennessee in January and the Vols also have commitments from three-star John Kelly of Oak Park, Mich., and local product Joc Bruce, who is a versatile athlete that is expected to get at least a strong look at running back when he arrives on campus this summer.
Tennessee is down to 28 commitments after Bussey’s flip, with offensive tackle Drew Richmond of Memphis, Tenn., the main realistic major scholarship prospect left on the Vols’ radar heading into National Signing Day on Wednesday.