Sunday night junior Von Pearson will line up as a starter at receiver under the lights here at Neyland.
An opportunity he never thought possible.
The 23-year-old has seen the other side, has lived in the real world and he doesn't want to go back.
As a high school senior in 2009, Von Pearson led the Hampton Roads, Virginia area in receiving, even beating out former Vol Justin Hunter.
But with no father figure at home and his mom working two jobs, there was no one to push him to get good grades in school.
College was not in his future.
"After high school I worked at McDonald's for a year, year and a half," Pearson said. "I thought this was going to be like a career job for me."
Then Pearson got a call from his friend Otis Williams.
"Out of nowhere just a random phone call," Pearson said, "you still wanna play football? You think you still got it? I was like yea I think I still got it. I thought it was a sign, a blessing from God for me to go play football."
It was a quick decision.
About two weeks after the call Pearson was 2,800 miles from home at Feather River College in the mountains of Northern California.
The 6-3 receiver caught ten touchdown passes his freshman season but was still flying under the recruiting radar.
In the second game of his sophomore year Von reeled in 19 catches for 311 yards.
Tennessee offered him a scholarship two days later.
"Couldn't believe he didn't have more going on to be quite honest with you,"
Azzanni said. "I thought he was dynamic with the football in his hand. Made some plays, jumping over the top of people, great ball skills. You could tell a kid's spirit on film, kind of how they play the game. He had that."
Pearson committed to Tennessee after visiting campus during the Vols upset win over South Carolina at Neyland.
"After that I had a few other schools hit me up, Virginia, Florida State, Oregon," said Pearson. "They all hit me up but I told them I wasn't going on no more visits I was staying faithful with Tennessee."
Pearson provides the Vols with not only a dynamic playmaker but a good teammate with life experience.
A positive influence on the young Vols.
"The gratitude that he has each and every day, he walks by me everyday, taps me and says thank you coach, thank you for the opportunity," said Tennessee coach Butch Jones. "And the kids feed off of that."
Pearson: "You gotta make the best of it, don't cut yourself short, just go strive for greatness."