Derek Dooley and his coaching staff has put together a sound recruiting class so far, with less than three weeks to National Signing Day, all eyes are on how the Vols close.
Part of Dooley's class, as a true Tennesseean might say would be "The hay is already in the barn."
They would be referring to the six early enrollees who have already enrolled in classes on the Tennessee campus. How important is it for a program to have early enrollees? What kind of impact will these young men have this spring on Rocky Top?
InsideTennessee.com has decided to try to answer a few of those questions by giving our take on each one of the guys who are already on campus for the UT Recruiting Class of 2011.
One of the biggest (literally) surprises of the early announcements for the early enrollees was from Vero Beach offensive lineman Marcus Jackson.
Jackson made his decision on National Television during the Under Armour Game. Prior to his announcement, the Florida native gave the Vol fans a little to worry about.
"The last two weeks no one was sure where he was headed," one recruiting expert remembers."
How big was Jackson's decision for the Vols, we at InsideTennessee.com are glad to give you our take.
Tennessee's future is bright on the offensive line with all but one starter returning. A lot of young faces got thrown into the proverbial fire but that will benefit the Vols in the future. Another reason for UT's bright future on the offensive front is the commitment of Jackson.
A big athletic guy that has great feet is a good way to describe Jackson. Getting him on campus early is a big advantage for Tennessee.
Jackson, who doesn't look as big as his listed 315 pounds, will have three full months of a college strength and conditioning program.
We expect Jackson to be one of the leading candidates to push for a starting role and if not to at least battle for a position on the two deep roster for the spring.
"Getting a full spring is a great advantage for all athletes, but especially the big offensive linemen," a veteran coach shared with InsideTennessee.com. "They get a chance to learn the offense, the system and get a head start on all the other freshmen coming in."
Jackson is a very powerful offensive lineman that drives his opponent off the ball. He gets off the ball well, he initiates contact, and he can push them well off the ball. His strengths are drive blocking, power, and the way he fires off the ball.
Jackson was a long time Miami commitment, the firing of Randy Shannon definitely helped the Vols opportunity to get the young man on the Knoxville campus.
Derek Dooley and his staff did an outstanding job with his recruitment. Expect big things from Jackson in the future.