Finding some of the best linebackers in the country to bring their talent to the University of Tennessee is one of Derek Dooley's top priorities.
It appears that it's also a major priority for the Vols linebackers coach, Lance Thompson. The veteran coach paid a visit to Danville Kentucky last Friday to the school of four-star prospect Lamar Dawson.
"Coach Thompson made a stop by the school," Dawson told InsideTennessee.com on Monday evening. "He is recruiting me hard. He spent some time visiting with my high school coaching staff."
Dawson is also familiar with the Tennessee campus, and he took an unofficial visit to Knoxville in June to check out things.
"I liked it a lot," Dawson said. "I really liked all the new coaches. They seem really down to earth and easy to talk to."
Tennessee's need for linebackers isn't something that Dawson hasn't been made aware of.
"Coach Thompson and Coach Dooley tell me all the time how much they need linebackers to come in and play right away," Dawson said. "That's a big plus for me."
It appears that the Vols recruitment of Dawson is starting to pay off.
"I'm pretty sure I will take an official visit to Tennessee," Dawson said. "Kentucky is also recruiting me really hard. They want me to stay home and play for my home state."
"These are my top schools right now in no particular order," Dawson explained. I will make my decision after my senior season is completed."
Dawson, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound athlete, is rated the No. 7 middle linebacker in the nation by Scout.com.
Dawson finished his junior season with 160 total tackles. Starter at middle linebacker as a sophomore. Also plays tight end and fullback. He says he can bench 280-pounds, squat 460 and has a 32-inch vertical jump. Dawson reports a 3.7 core GPA and a 22 ACT.
Dawson is also confident of his skills.
"I take good angles and can get to the ball fast. I'm very physical when I play," Dawson said. "I still want to get stronger and faster too."