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Five-Star Stokes Chooses Tennessee

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin landed his first elite recruit on Thursday when Memphis, Tenn., forward Jarnell Stokes committed to the Vols.

Stokes, who’s considered a five-star prospect and the nation’s 11th-best player by, chose Tennessee over Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Memphis.

“I have spent a lot of time in prayer about what to do and I believe that the University of Tennessee is the right place for me,” Stokes said, according to “I am excited about the future at Tennessee. I am going to work as hard as I can to fit in with my teammates and learn the system as quickly as I can to help the team.”

And Stokes plans to help Tennessee right away. He’s eligible to enroll in college next month and will be available to play for the Vols when the spring semester begins on Jan. 11.

I’m ready to play,” he told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I’m not going to lie. I’m going to be pushing to play.”

How significant is Stokes’ commitment for Tennessee? Mike Griffith of the Knoxville News Sentinel explains.

Memphis was considered at a time to be a favorite to land Stokes, but the Tigers were at a disadvantage because they don’t have an athletic scholarship available this season. Gary Parrish of wrote this week that NCAA rules would not allow Stokes to play this season as a “recruited walk-on.”


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