KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen tweeted out the photo above with Vols coach Butch Jones and offensive tackle commitment Dontavius Blair.
Although the tweet doesn’t say precisely, this is a pretty good indication that Blair his signed an athletic aid agreement with Tennessee. It does not mean he has signed a National Letter of Intent. Mid-year junior college enrollees can sign a letter starting Dec. 18.
Several players have taken advantage of a new NCAA rules interpretation that allows players to sign an athletic aid agreement before signing a Letter of Intent. Players must be on track to meet academic admission requirements.
Schools are obligated to honor the scholarship of the player, who is not yet bound by a NLI. The benefit for the school is that normal recruiting restrictions no longer apply.
Blair, originally from Anniston, Ala., is a 6-foot-8, 302-pound tackle at Garden City (Kan.) Community College.
Update: Blair isn’t the only commitment who signed an aid agreement this weekend.
Along with Dontavius Blair, Jalen Hurd, Coleman Thomas and Emmanuel Moseley all signed their financial aid agreements this weekend.
— Paul Fortenberry (@Volquest_Paul) November 10, 2013