Tennessee has rebounded nicely from the hiring of new head coach Derek Dooley. Justin Hunter first committed, followed by Eddrick Loften and Glen Stanley. Now the Vols have hit another big commit as Mychal Rivera (Van Nuys, CA/College of the Canyons) has committed to Tennessee.
“Yes sir I just committed to Tennessee last night,” said an excited Rivera.
Rivera originally signed with Oregon out of high school but after his first season he felt it wasn’t a right fit and that he needed some change.
“When I signed with Oregon it didn’t work out too much and just wasn’t a good fit for me and for them,” explained Rivera.
“So I felt like I could go the JC route and prove I was worthy of playing D-1 football and that’s what I did. I went to College of the Canyons and did well and then I was able to narrow things down between Tennessee and Kansas State.”
Rivera visited Kansas State two weeks ago and last week he took his official to Tennessee with the thought that he would have to be blown away by what the Vols could offer to make him commit to Tennessee.
“Before I went out to Tennessee I checked out K-State and to be honest I was really into it. I felt like they did everything they needed and I told myself that Tennessee would really have to blow me away and the visit would have to be an awesome one for me to go to Tennessee.”
The visit clearly left a lasting impression on Rivera as he raved about everything Tennessee could offer him at the next level.
“They showed me everything they could possibly show me,” said Rivera. “They showed me a lot of film from La Tech and how they used the tight end there. I also got some looks of NFL film when some coaches were in the NFL and how they used the tight end there as well. The stadium was awesome, the facilities, everything was just awesome and I left knowing that’s where I’d go.
River red-shirted at Oregon and then played one year of Junior College football and will have three years to play three once he enrolls at Tennessee.
“The staff told me I have a chance to play right away at the tight end spot and being a three-for-three player is pretty huge. I’ll get a chance to start as a sophomore in the SEC and go from there. Playing time was a big factor for me.”
Rivera was visited from coaches of the Vols last night and decided to make the decision then and there.
“I got a visit from the coaches and I sat down with my parents and the coaches and told them this is where I wanted to go and everyone was really happy,” explained Rivera. “I got on the phone with Coach Dooley and like the rest of the staff was very excited I was coming out there to play.”
The background of coaching tight ends for the Volunteer staff was another big reason Rivera made the pledge to go to Tennessee.
“There is something like three coaches at Tennessee who have all had experience coaching the position I will play is huge,” says Rivera. “I am in a very unique situation and one that I will try and take advantage of.”
Coach Dooley, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, and tight ends coach Eric Russell will all have a role in developing and coaching Rivera at the next level.
Rivera will plan on enrolling at Tennessee sometime in the summer to take part in off-season workouts in preparation for the 2010 season.