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Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Vols add former UC commit A.J. Branisel

By Jared Shanker

Three-star tight end A.J. Branisel was one of Butch Jones' first 2013 commits while he was the coach of Cincinnati. Now he is one of Jones' first 2013 commitments at Tennessee.

Branisel, the No. 17 tight end-H nationally, verbally committed to the Volunteers on Wednesday.

"They need help and I feel I can help them get back on track," Branisel said.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Branisel decommitted from the Bearcats shortly after Butch Jones took the Tennessee job. In fact, Branisel decommitted the same day new Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville took the job.

With a dozen offers, Branisel felt most comfortable transitioning to Tennessee with Jones. He will officially visit Tennessee the weekend of Jan. 25.

"They're a great group of coaches and already having relationships with them is a big deal because we don't have to start all over again," he said. "We can just pick up from where we left off at."

Branisel is the fourth commitment Jones has secured since becoming the Volunteers' coach.