November 18, 2009

Golden excited to be a Vol

For all the drama that has held up Tennessee basketball fans in the last 48 hours regarding Tobias Harris and Jayvaughn Pinkston, there was none surrounding Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern High School point guard Trae Golden Tuesday as he signed with the Vols during a ceremony at his high school.

"It was really exciting, and I'm just really glad to get the process over," Golden said. "I mean it felt so good. It just felt like a big burden let off your chest. You don't have to worry about that whole situation anymore, you can just sit back and relax and know in the fall you'll be going to a great school."

Golden committed to Tennessee in September after narrowing his choices to the Vols, Georgia and South Florida. He said that Tennessee presented him with the best overall situation.

"The great family atmosphere, how comfortable it was. Coach (Bruce) Pearl just made me feel right at home. It's just a great situation for me," the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Golden said. "There's a lot of senior guards graduating, I can step right in and be an impact early."

Golden will be joined by fellow Atlanta Celtics teammate Jordan McRae, who helped bring the star guard to Knoxville.

"You know Jordan, he's persistent. When Josh Selby de-committed he just went 100 percent towards me. I mean, it really helped a lot. It's a great situation, and he'll be my roommate next year," Golden explained.

After originally committing to Ohio State in the fall of 2007, Golden re-opened his recruitment the following summer because he knew the decision wasn't the right one.

"I committed to Ohio State. I just really rushed my decision; it was a really premature decision. I didn't think everything through," Golden said. "Me and my family looked at other places and we ended up coming on Tennessee and that was the best situation. Two hours and thirty minutes away from home; I can come home pretty much anytime I want to. It's just a great situation for my family. Tennessee gets something good out of it, and I get something good out of it too."

With the signings of two Atlanta-area guards in Golden and McRae filling out the backcourt, Golden said he has tried to help with filling out the frontcourt with two New York forwards in Harris and Pinkston.

"I have man (talked to Harris and Pinkston), I've really been on them to go ahead and (commit). I've been on them a lot actually. Hopefully we end up and hit the lottery and get both of those guys," Golden said.

While Tennessee fans will have to wait to see if they win big with Harris or Pinkston, the Vols have already hit the jackpot landing Golden.

"I'm so excited, words can't even tell you," Golden said. "I just can't wait to be in Thompson-Boiling Arena looking up with a packed crowd leading us to victory. I can't wait."

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