D.C.'s Tabor high on Vols

Keep InsideTennessee.com bookmarked on your web browser to stay updated on Tennessee football recruiting. Check out what this elite prospect said about the Volunteers in a recent interview.

Thumbing through the top of the FOX Sports NEXT prospect rankings for the Class of 2014, it doesn't take long to stumble upon the name Jalen Tabor.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder possesses that combination of length and athletic ability all coaches want in their secondary, which is part of the reason why he is rated the No. 6 corner in the country and a four-star prospect.

Tennessee is among a long list of schools hot on the trail of the Friendship Collegiate (D.C.) Academy standout. First-year Volunteer cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley is a major reason why Tabor says the Big Orange are the most consistent school in his recruitment.

"Great relationship," Tabor said of he and Ansley. "I feel like we get closer every time I come up here, every time I speak to him on the phone. It's just getting real real closer. I feel like I can go in there and play for him right now."

That relationship is what has helped get the D.C. star to visit Knoxville four times unofficially now, with the most recent coming on Oct. 20 when Tennessee took on Alabama.

"It was a great atmosphere. A lot of fans came out," Tabor told InsideTennessee.

Tennessee assistant coach Derrick Ansley (pictured) has been pivotal in Tabor's recruitment.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
Even though the Vols came up on the short end of a 44-13 score against the country's No. 1-ranked team, Tabor saw some positives out of the Orange & White.

"They played good. They're right there," he said. "They just need a couple more pieces to connect the puzzle."

Another school keeping tabs on Tabor is that same Crimson Tide bunch. He made sure to pay attention to coach Nick Saban's defense.

"Their defensive backfield played outstanding even with (Tennessee wide receivers Justin) Hunter and (Cordarrelle) Patterson. They played really well."

When asked who is at the top of his list of favorite schools, Tabor named Tennessee and Maryland in front of a pack of Ohio State, Alabama and Florida.

The prospect suggests that the rankings and stars aren't getting to his head, and he is making good on the knowledge he's picked up from camping at universities this summer.

"It's going real well," Tabor said. "I'm starting to make a lot more tackles and be more physical at the line of scrimmage. I've got two interceptions on the season. So, I'm doing real well right now."

Led by head coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim, Friendship Collegiate Academy saw 19 seniors accept scholarships back in February. In 2011, the Knights went 9-1. They started out 6-1 this fall but have dropped a pair of games in a row.

"There's no doubt in my mind that we can win the state championship again," Tabor said.

He currently has no plans to visit other college campuses this fall, but that is subject to change.

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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