Tennessee pledge talks Tide

When a football prospect is deemed SEC caliber, scholarship offers could be considered the norm throughout the recruiting process, and they sometimes come in with little to no previous contact with a particular coaching staff. That's what happened on Wednesday, when Tennessee commitment Dylan Jackson got in touch with Nick Saban and Alabama.

Since he committed to Tennessee in mid-January, things have been pretty quiet on the recruiting front for Dylan Jackson.

The Maryville (Tenn.) defensive end had just been focusing on his craft and his upcoming senior season, and was literally mid-workout on Wednesday when the calm mood of his recruitment took a turn as one of the Volunteers' biggest rivals threw its hat into the mix with a scholarship offer.

"Pretty good day, I was actually in the middle of a workout, and I was told that Coach [Nick] Saban wanted to talk to me," Jackson said. "I was pulled out of class, went down there about three o'clock and called him. I talked to he and Coach [Bobby] Williams, and they said they'd like to offer.

"I got to know them a little bit and learned a little more about the program."

The early Scout.com three-star prospect hadn't interacted with any Crimson Tide coach before the news was broken to him by the head coach.

"That was actually the first time I've talked to them," he said. "I was surprised; I wasn't expecting to make that phone call. It obviously means a lot, he's a great coach and runs a great program down there, it's an honor to be offered by them.

"They said that they like me at they're JACK position, which is a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker. They say I fit that pretty well."

Alabama is the first program to show continued interest in Jackson since he made his Vol pledge, something that could change going forward. While he admits he may take some visits before pen meets paper in February, Tennessee fans shouldn't be too worried just yet.

The answer on the effect of the Alabama offer came quick.

"Not really, I'm still committed, I'm true to my word an am good with my decision," he said. "That's that. I may consider another school, but I'm pretty solid with my commitment, I like where I'm at."

Jackson hasn't yet spoken to the UT staff about other schools pursuing him but he has plenty of reasons for them to not be worried by Wednesday's news.

"I haven't talked to them much about that yet," Jackson said. "What isn't there to love? Butch Jones and all of the coaches are great guys, it's close to home, I've been to plenty of games, the atmosphere is amazing, there's a good medical school which is what I'm trying to get into.

"It's just right."

Saban and company may host the junior for spring practice leading up to the A-Day game on April 19.

"I've never been down there, he (Saban) said he's trying to get me down for spring practice sometime, so I've got to talk to my parents about maybe setting that up," he said. "I'll be taking some visits to enjoy the recruiting process a little more, but I don't know where yet. We'll see. "

Alabama may not be the last school to get in contact with the Vol pledge. As for why, Jackson feels it's not his measurables (6-foot-6, pounds), but more of the intangible qualities that makes him an SEC prospect.

"I'm not trying to sound cocky or anything, but it's my work ethic," he said. "I work out twice a day, do stadiums on my own time. I work hard on the field and in school."


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