March 7, 2012

Old friends, new coaches impress Herron

For Memphis Central standout Frank Herron, his weekend visit to Tennessee to get a better look at the football program was also a bit of a reunion with former schoolmates Jarnell Stokes and Cameron Clear.

All three used to play basketball for Central and were good friends and Herron was able to hear his former teammates' recruiting pitches.

"It was awesome, I liked it a lot," Herron said. "Just seeing Cam and Jarnell again and they were telling me wonderful things about Tennessee."

Clear and Stokes were both former basketball teammates of Herron and Clear doubled as a football teammate as well. The current Vols let Herron know they aren't the only Central alumni on the Tennessee campus.

"They just said Tennessee's like a second home, it's just like Central because they told me like 43 Central kids go to Tennessee," he said.

The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Herron was also able to spend plenty of time with defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri and the former Carolina Panthers assistant told Herron he reminded him of one of the NFL's best defensive linemen.

"It went very well. Just talking to coach Sal, he coached Julius Peppers, one of the greatest defensive ends of all time if you ask me, he was telling me how I reminded him of Julius Peppers and he was telling me how advanced I am technique-wise and he really likes me for my size and my speed and my football ability," Herron said.

One thing that impressed Herron when speaking with Derek Dooley was the Vol for Life program.

"(Talking with Dooley) was very big because coach Dooley talked to me about the Vol for Life program and I think that was very awesome of him to put that together," Herron said. "Some NFL players don't try to come back to school, but he was telling me that I can come back after I play and get my education. I thought that was kind of nice."

He wasn't the only one that was interested in the 'VFL' program, as Herron's mother took notice of it as well.

"She liked it. She liked the Vol for Life program and she thinks coach Dooley's a great guy and she speaks highly of him," he said.

Herron hopes to take trips to LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Auburn and Clemson in the next few weeks, but as his Memphis Central team continues to win in the state basketball tournament it may be some time before a schedule is ironed out.

"We still have to take our time with this process. I'm still in basketball season and then me and my mom really need to sit down and talk this over and see what my transition will be (after basketball season)," Herron offered.

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