Tennessee linebacker talks Navy

Tennessee linebacker talks Navy

Millions of people were enjoying the Super Bowl on Sunday night, but Colton Jumper had bigger things on his mind. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound middle linebacker from The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. made his verbal pledge to the U.S. Naval Academy after taking an official visit to the Annapolis campus over the weekend. Jumper spoke to GoMids.com about his decision.

Millions of people were enjoying the Super Bowl on Sunday night, but Colton Jumper had bigger things on his mind. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound middle linebacker from The Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn. made his verbal pledge to the U.S. Naval Academy after taking an official visit to the Annapolis campus over the weekend. Jumper spoke to GoMids.com about his decision.

"After I came home from the visit I talked it over with my parents," said Colton Jumper. "I think I made the right decision. I called last night during the Super Bowl to let them know I was on board. Navy isn't too far way from home, I get the opportunity to play Division 1 football for some great coaches, and the academics were also a big reason. It's exciting because i read somewhere the Naval Academy ranks number four in the country for alumni salaries. I get a good education at one of the top public schools in the nation and also have job security when I'm finished."

Before last Monday, Jumper hadn't even heard from Navy at all during the recruiting process. It came as a bit of shock to Jumper when his coach notified him Ashley Ingram was there to see him.

"They offered me pretty late," Jumper said laughing. "I had never talked to them before. When my coach called me and said that Navy was there to see me, I was a little bit surprised. I guess I can see how Coach Ingram would have heard about me. I had an offer from Air Force and Buddy Green is from Chattanooga and knows my dad. I think that my speed was a big selling point for me. The other thing is my frame. I'm a skinny 220 (pounds) and could probably put on another 20 and be able to hold it well. It's a great fit for me personality wise. I'm excited about the military part. Although I haven't had any experience, I can see the long-term benefits."

Jumper made the trip this weekend with his father, a former referee in Conference USA, to Annapolis. He was welcomed by some familiar faces from the Volunteer State.

"I had a great time," Jumper said. "They have a bunch of Tennessee guys like Parrish Gaines, Joey Gaston, and Josh Tate. All the people I met on the visit seem like good people who I'd want to surround myself with. The facilities were awesome. I got to see the workout center and the indoor practice field. It was all top tier. The stadium is fantastic. They talk about some of the renovations they're doing.

"I really liked meeting Coach Johns. He's a funny guy. I know I'm going to enjoy spending the next four years having him as my position coach."

At Baylor School, Jumper played the SAM linebacker in the 3-3 stack defense. He amassed 132 tackles on the season. He served as a captain for the Red Raiders and was named their defensive MVP as a senior player. He was named All-State (Tennessee Division II- AA) for the second year in a row and was a three time All-Region selection. In December he played in the 2012 East/West Tennessee All-Star game in Cookeville, Tenn. Jumper plans on going into the Naval Academy direct over the summer.


Colton Jumper and family on Signing Day.

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