Vols snag JUCO defensive tackle

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee staff have addressed a big need with a JUCO 2012 prospect. Read as InsideTennessee gets you up to speed with all things Tennessee recruiting.

Derek Dooley and the Tennessee coaching staff have landed JUCO defensive tackle prospect Damien Jacobs just days after his visit to Knoxville last weekend.

Jacobs left Knoxville with thoughts of committing to the Vols, but held off until this morning when it felt right.

"I had been going through the thought process about it since I got back," Jacobs told InsideTennessee.com. "I just kept thinking that it was the right place for me so I went ahead and committed."

The East Mississippi Community College interior lineman didn't see anything he didn't like about Rocky Top.

"I was impressed with just about everything," Jacobs said. "There was nothing that was bad, everything was great and everything pointed to it being the right place for me. The coaches, future teammates and everyone was great."

Both Tennessee defensive line coach Lance Thompson and recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph, who were both ecstatic when hearing from Jacobs, recruited Jacobs, who plans to enroll in January.

"Coach Joesph was really excited when I called and told him that I was committing," Jacobs said. "Coach Joseph and coach Thompson were the main people that I dealt with. I developed great relationships with both of them."

Jacobs gives the Vols their 11th commitment for the Class of 2012, but the first on the interior line of either side of the ball. Already thin at defensive tackle, Jacobs' commitment might present an opportunity for early playing time.

"I was looking for a great place to go to school and early playing time was definitely a factor," Jacobs said. "Tennessee has the opportunity for me to get both of those."

Now Jacobs' focus will move to his season this fall at East Mississippi.

"I looking forward to playing hard and winning a national championship," Jacobs said. "We have the talent, skills and everything we need to win."

Vol coach Derek Dooley may also get a little help on the recruiting trail with Jacobs' teammate Denico Autry.

"Yes, I would love to play together," Jacobs said of playing with his teammate. "He knows that there are some great opportunities at Tennessee. He has a decision to make here coming up too."

Aurtry is a four-start defensive end and has offers from 10 different Div. I schools. He and Quinn McClendon accompanied Jacobs on his visit this past weekend.

Playing in all 10 games for the Lions last season, Jacobs recorded 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Joining him on that team was current Tennessee defensive back Izauea Lanier.

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