Sentimore set to slide on the orange

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Desperate to add talent and depth to its defensive line, Tennessee picked up a highly-desired signature from Darrington Sentimore on Wednesday.

With two years (redshirted 2009) under his belt at Alabama and coming off a productive season at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (39 tackles, seven sacks), Sentimore arrives in Knoxville with a résumé of a player set to contribute immediately. Add his being an early enrollee to the equation and Tennessee defensive line coach Lance Thompson now has another piece to the puzzle of forming a productive front.

Sentimore was part of a prospect-laden MGCCC team under the guidance of coach Steve Campbell that blasted Blinn (Texas) 46-17 to win the Mississippi Bowl and finish 10-2 overall and a top 10 ranking in the NJCAA.

At 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Sentimore brings the stature to the edge of the Vol defensive front should he stay at end. He may see time there and inside depending on down and distance.

His presence should also help with Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's consistent search for "Darwinism" whereby competition at both end and tackle will improve the play of all of those hoping to earn a spot in the two-deep. The 20-year-old should push fellow ends like Willie Bohannon, Jacques Smith, Marlon Walls and Jordan Williams right out of the gate.

Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and his staff picked up a potential starter on Wednesday.
(Danny Parker/

During his redshirt freshman season at the Capstone, Sentimore played in 11 games, registering 11 tackles, four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.

Coming out of the prep ranks, he was rated by as the No. 22 defensive tackle in the country and a four-star prospect after tallying 78 tackles and six sacks his senior season.

He chose to play with the Crimson Tide over offers from schools like Arkansas, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma and Tennessee.

A Norco, La., native, he was prideful of his time in the SEC Western Division at Alabama as an opportunity to start was before him back in the spring.

"He helps us in pass rush," Alabama coach Nick Saban told following a spring scrimmage. "He's still got to be able to play the run better. He's not a real big guy. He has really good quickness. He has good pass rushing ability, and he has made significant improvement in being responsible to do his job. That's the only way you can trust somebody if he can do the job you're asking him to do and you are counting on him to do it."

Pulling a junior college talent out of Mississippi is an accomplishment by the UT coaching staff not to be taken lightly.

It seemed possible that Sentimore would select LSU if it showed him much of any love at all. Whether that came to fruition or not remains to be seen.

Typically, the No. 1 item a junior college prospect desires in a university is playing time. LSU is set to return Michael Brockers, Bennie Logan, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo for not only next season but for 2013 as well.

Given the productivity of those Bayou Bengals, the path to contribute Day 1 for an SEC school is clearer at Tennessee.

Another factor in his recruitment is connections to both Dooley and assistant coach Terry Joseph. Sentimore met both in Ruston, La., back in 2008. Joseph was once a coach at Sentimore's alma mater Destrehan (La.) High School.

After taking in the Tennessee-Cincinnati game at Neyland Stadium back on Sept. 10, Sentimore checked out Texas A&M. However, the coaching change in College Station made it hard for the Aggies to compete with Tennessee down the stretch.

The addition of Darrington Sentimore should make fellow Vol defensive linemen like Marlon Walls (pictured) better through competition. Photo by Danny Parker/

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