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Tennessee DB Target Jourdan Thomas De-Commits From Miss. State, Set for OV With Vols

2022 Montgomery Catholic (Ala.) defensive back Jourdan Thomas had been committed to Mississippi State since early April, but that changed on Tuesday night when he publicly de-committed from Mike Leach's program.

 Thomas visited Tennessee at the end of June for a private workout, and the push from the Vols has been on since. Josh Heupel and staff were in Montgomery to see him today, and an official visit is on the horizon. 

"Right now, I am probably just hearing from Tennessee and Mississippi State the most," Thomas said prior to publicly announcing his de-commitment. "Auburn was in the mix, but they had some difficulties this season, and the coaching staff might leave." 

Thomas is familiar with Tennessee given the multiple visits he has been on, and it is not necessarily a reassurance he is looking for in this official visit, but he will be looking to see if it has that home feel.

"I don't really need reassurance because I know everyone there is great people," Thomas said. "I have been to the facility multiple times, and I love it, but really it is just going back because It has been a while since I have seen the place," Thomas said of his upcoming official visit with the Vols. "I haven't been there since the South Carolina game, and it was a great visit. It was my first time there for a game, and I loved it. I am just looking forward to going back down there to be around the coaches and the campus and the people. Just to try and see if it feels like home."

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Despite the long-standing commitment to the Bulldogs, Thomas spent time building his relationship with Tennessee, and it has only continued to grow in recent weeks. 

"It is growing tremendously," Thomas said of his relationship with Tennessee. "We talk almost every day, the whole staff, even coach Heupel. They came to see me this morning, actually—Coach Heupel, Coach Banks, and Coach Martinez—they came to my school this morning.  We talked for a while, then toured around high school, then they went to my classes to meet my teachers and principal. It was a great time seeing them. Then, they went to my mom's to see her and surprise her."

The way the Tennessee staff has prioritized Thomas's mom has been extremely important in the growing relationship. 

"It is very important to me," he said of this. "I feel like when you recruit the athlete, you should recruit the family as well, and Tennessee has done a great job of doing that. They make my mom feel at home, and they treat her so well. A couple of weeks back, she was actually running around the house doing the Rocky Top song. She loves it there, and they love her, and they just have a great relationship. Not just dealing with me, but the coaches and her have a great relationship. Coaches call her without talking to me and that type of stuff."

So, now, with two weeks left until the early signing period kicks in, Thomas has a plan in mind.

 "I do plan on making a decision, but I cannot enroll early because of a school we have at our school," Thomas said. "With signing, I am going to hold out because I want to sign with my teammates, and we have all decided to sign on that day. So, I want to be up at the podium to sign side-by-side with them."Continue to follow Volunteer Country on Sports Illustrated for more updates.