Santos is all Vol

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Linebacker Dalton Santos told InsideTennessee.com that he was firmly committed to Tennessee despite rumors he might be wavering with Texas A&M moving to the Southeastern Conference.

Last weekend, the Texan's decision was only vindicated after he took his official visit for the Volunteers' game with the Georgia Bulldogs.

"I thoroughly enjoyed myself down there," Santos told InsideTennessee. "I had a really great time with A.J. (Johnson) and Curt (Maggitt), the two linebackers. Those two guys are hilarious and they are good dudes. They are a great group to surround myself with."

Both Johnson and Maggitt can tell Santos all about contributing to the Vols efforts early in their careers. Both of the freshmen 'backers have appeared in all five games thus far.

While Santos had visited Rocky Top over the summer for Tennessee's camp, Saturday was his first game in Neyland Stadium and the Vols capacity crowd of 102,445 blew him away.

"It was great, all those fans yelling, it was fabulous," he said. "It was so loud and energetic the whole game. It was amazing. There were great people everywhere. I really enjoyed that and it was great to feel that experience in the stadium."

The 6-foot-2, 240-pounder has always been drawn by the thought of playing for playing for ex-NFL linebacker and Tennessee linebackers coach Peter Sirmon and it was great to visit with the whole coaching staff.

"All the coaching staff and coach Sirmon were great," the four-star prospect said. "I just had a great all-around time with everything, the game-day experience and all that stuff. It was awesome."

While his father, Albert Santos, has been on board since being impressed by Derek Dooley and his staff, one person that still needed to be was his mother, Vista.

"It went really well," Santos said. "He sat down and talked with my mom. We were in there for about 30 or 45 minutes and she asked every question in the book. She asked a bunch of different questions and he had great answers to come back with. She definitely left a happy camper."

In three quarters of play last Friday, Santos had 12 tackles against Ford High School. Dalton and the Van High Vandals will square off with Canton on Friday night at 7:30.

Canton will be one of their toughest tests of the season, which could mean a full workload for Santos for the first time this season.

When InsideTennessee asked Santos if he had any last words to give the Tennessee fans his reply:

"I can't wait to get down there and play my butt off for them to make them happy. I can't be more ready. Seeing the Vol Walk and seeing those fans out there being so supportive, that is what keeps us players driven, seeing them out there 100,000 strong."


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