Long snapper Riley Lovingood — yes, a long snapper — is newest 2015 commitment

Butch Jones, adding a brick.

Butch Jones, adding a brick.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s becoming more and more common to see long snappers earn scholarships.

But adding one almost a year before National Signing Day is more unusual.

Even so, the Vols opted to accept a verbal commitment on Saturday from Riley Lovingood, a junior from Beech High in Hendersonville. (That’s Jalen Hurd‘s alma mater). Lovingood is considered one of the nation’s top snappers and his ties to Tennessee make him unlikely to waiver.

 

Coaching staffs are increasingly finding that it takes a scholarship to lure the nation’s top snappers.

Wesley Horky, who was all set to walk-on at Tennessee, was snatched up by Oklahoma just a week ago.

Matt Giampapa is the leading candidate to win the snapping job in 2014. Butch Jones has said that J.R. Carr‘s graduation leaves a large gap at the position — not just in snapping, but also overall special teams play. Carr had five tackles on special teams in 2013.

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