Four-star linebacker JJ Peterson now considers a new SEC team to be his favorite college choice after long favoring Alabama, the linebacker confirmed during an interview with SEC Country.
Peterson reaffirmed that his relationship with former Alabama defensive coordinator and new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has helped the Vols become his new favorite.
“I have a strong connection with Coach Pruitt and Coach Sherrer,” Peterson said. “I also have two former teammates there [Shawn Shamburger and Jay Blakely]. I know people there. Coach Pruitt leaving has changed the whole game for me.”
During an exclusive interview with 247Sports earlier this month, the four-star outside linebacker said Tennessee’s hiring of Pruitt could have major implications in his college decision.
The coach served as his main recruiter while at Alabama and was reported to be a favorite to land the Vols’ head coaching job when the interview was recorded.
Peterson admitted that adding Pruitt would help the Tennessee’s chances of landing him and would likely make things more difficult for the Tide.
“It would kind of be hard,” Peterson said of Alabama keeping his interest after losing Pruitt. “That’s the main person I talk to.… I don’t talk to [Nick Saban] as much. But when I talk to him, he just asks questions and I’m not really a talker.”
The 6-foot-1.5, 210-pound senior ranks as the No. 2 outside linebacker, No. 8 player from the state of Georgia and No. 43 overall prospect for the 2018 national recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports‘ Composite rankings.
Peterson recorded 110 tackles, including 19 tackles for loss, five sacks, two pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble during the 2017 season, according to 247Sports.