Jacobs gives visit an A+

Damien Jacobs had been to Knoxville before when Lane Kiffin was the head coach. This weekend the defensive tackle got a chance to check out Tennessee with Derek Dooley at the helm. Sign in or subscribe now to see what the 300-pounder told InsideTennessee.com.

When Damien Jacobs suits up in his next uniform after his playing days at East Mississippi Community College are done, he wants to be absolutely positive that that's the team and school perfect for him and his game.

In spite of some thoughts to do so, Jacobs passed on committing to Tennessee after spending three days in Knoxville.

"It crossed my mind but I'm taking things slow," said Jacobs, who was on the highway back to Scooba, Miss., in hopes of making it in time to make a team meeting.

He called the visit an "A-plus" and that "it went great."

After he and Florida State divorced earlier this summer, Jacobs' name has gotten hotter in the recruiting ranks. With its need for defensive line help, the Volunteers have jumped into the hunt for the 6-foot-4, 300-pound tackle.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and Jacobs got a chance to sit down for a chat.

"We talked about strengths in my game and areas to improve and we talked about plenty of things," said Jacobs, noting a conversation about the Vol For Life program that Dooley helped establish.

So, did the Tennessee coaches push him for a pledge?

"No, they did not pressure me to commit," said Jacobs, who did name Tennessee his leader.

The Vols currently have 10 commitments for the Class of 2012 but none of those pledged are slated to play on the interior of either side of the football.

That's enticing for Jacobs, who listed what he likes about UT: "The need for defensive linemen, the staff, the facilities and education resources."

Jacobs stays in touch with Tennessee recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph the most as both have ties to Louisiana. Tight ends coach Eric Russell also has an established relationship with Jacobs from his days recruiting for Texas Tech.

Another person in Knoxville playing a role in his recruitment is defensive back Izauea Lanier, who signed with Tennessee back in February. Jacbos "was with him all weekend."

"It's helpful because I trust (Lanier) and he will tell me all the likes and dislikes," said Jacobs, who was joined on the visit by East Mississippi teammates Denico Autry and Quinn McClendon.

As Jacbos goes through the process with plans to enroll at a university in January, he will soon turn his attention to getting on the playing field with his fellow Lions. East Mississippi opens up at home against Mississippi Gulf Coast on Sept. 1.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories