A strong recruiting run for the University of Tennessee continued on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl when Top100 linebacker JJ Peterson put on a Volunteers hat and committed to new head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Alabama was the runner-up.

“I had a hard time choosing where I want to be,” Peterson told 247Sports. “I just feel the best for me is to go to Tennessee. Tennessee is the best for me. I feel like Tennessee isn’t going to let me down. I feel like Tennessee is going to give me a chance to play.”

Peterson, ranked as the No. 44 player in the country in the 247Sports Composite, will play early at just about any team in the country but part of the appeal to Tennessee was not only the opportunity to play early but also the opportunity to have a positive impact on the roster. Hailing from Georgia powerhouse Colquitt County High School, Peterson will be joining former teammates Shawn Shamburger and Ja’Quain Blakely in Knoxville. That played no small role in his decision.

“It’s not [playing time] because I could get on the field at Bama,” he said. “I’ve just got people there and I know when I go play with them I make them better. I’m not saying I’m better than them but my play makes them better so I feel like if they’re friends with all the guys there and I’m friends with them, I can get everybody to play better. I bring energy. I bring another kind of energy.”

At Colquitt County, Peterson played for head coach Rush Propst, the same coach that Jeremy Pruitt coached under at Hoover High School before he hit the college ranks. That relationship certainly helped in Peterson’s recruitment but the relationships that he had built with varying members of the Tennessee staff made this an easy call.