Despite struggles, Vols sign strong 2012 class

By Beth Rucker

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 1 2012 4:55 p.m. MST

Dooley said the coaches were very diligent in trying to learn more about Bonner and the situation and felt the Columbus, Ga., native was truthful and remorseful and appeared to learn from the incident.

"When I say bringing in high character, that doesn't mean that I am never going to bring in guys that have made mistakes because I can tell you right now, I have made as many mistakes in my life as anybody," Dooley said. "I believe that he can come in and represent Tennessee the right way, learn from his mistakes and be a great example. Certainly it is not the norm, but ... at a key position, we felt willing to take the risk."

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AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this story.

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