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Tennessee commit Cecil Cherry calls Texas his "dream school"

So apparently that visit went well.

Cecil Cherry
Cecil Cherry
Student Sports

Fans of the Tennessee Volunteers surely aren't thrilled at the moment that the other UT, the Texas Longhorns, are apparently the "dream school" of longtime linebacker commit Cecil Cherry.

The 6'0, 230-pound Cherry pledged to the Volunteers back in June, but he visited Austin for the first time for the West Virginia game (in the middle in orange pants).

In an interview with Scout, the Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian product said that he's been following the Longhorns for a long time:

"Believe it or not Texas is my dream school," Cherry said. "I have loved them ever since I was little. I am a huge fan of Vince Young and Colt McCoy. It's those guys that had me loving Texas. I remember when they played in the national title game."

So there was already an affinity for where the program was in its proudest moments of the modern era, which probably helped to positive impact his experience of the game:

"Man, the atmosphere, the town, the school, the football program... everything was amazing," Cherry said.

"Coach [Charlie] Strong is just an amazing person. He keeps it real and he's so genuine. Coach Strong tells it like it is. He's just a wonderful man and we all know what a great coach he is. He knows what he's looking for and that can come from different places. Look at me, I am a guy from Polk County in Florida and they want me. Then again, coach Strong knows better than anyone what kind of players come from Polk County."

Players like Texas freshman defensive tackle Chris Nelson, who was surely the player host for Cherry on his visit with the host of other Sunshine State recruits pictured above.

And, of course, Cherry was likely able to witness the post-game locker room celebration, so he now knows that the players who suit up for Texas head coach Strong feel the same way about him as Cherry does.

Does Cherry have the same connection with Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and his primary recruiter, linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen, who is one of the most successful recruiters in the SEC right now?

The answer to that question could prove to be key in Cherry's eventual decision, though the Volunteers definitely don't have anyone from Victory Christian on the roster to do some behind-the-scenes recruiting.

Potential for early playing time could be something of a wash, as Tennessee will also lose its starting middle linebacker and has a raw prospect in freshman Jakob Johnson behind that senior -- Johnson played only one year of high school football and has already been switching back and forth between linebacker and defensive end.

What would Cherry bring to the table for Texas?

He's obviously undersized and he doesn't look 230 pounds in his junior film, but he has excellent feet that translate well in high school to the running back position, outstanding lateral quickness, and the physicality to use all of his mass against opponents as a tackler while consistently driving his feet on contact.

If his size limits him at linebacker at the next level, he could become an impact fullback and short-yardage back capable of 10 carries per game -- there are legitimate reasons why he's a four-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 10 inside linebacker nationally in the Composite rankings.

But what's next for him?

There are now visits on tap for Cherry, including what will likely be a crucial trip to Knoxville, as well as all three other official visits, but the Longhorns would look to be in strong shape to land the physical tackler based on his long-term feelings for the program, clear affinity for Strong, and the presence of his former teammate in Austin.

let's ride