Hatcher calls Tennessee 'a real cool place'

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Turning heads is no simple task when a vast number of prospects from several states flocks to the Under Armour All-America Combine.

Jason Hatcher was able to accomplish just that on the morning of New Years Eve at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The four-star defensive end out of Trinity (Ky.) High School in Louisville came south for the holiday with numerous BCS-level schools highly interested. He left for the Bluegrass State even more informed on how to bring down ball carriers.

"Just listening and keying in on the small things that my coaching staff was telling me, as far as coming to point, don't just rush back there in the backfield, kind of settle down," Hatcher said of the experience. "You don't have to be going 100 miles per hour. Just find what's going on and attack the ball."

Hatcher measured up at 6-foot-1 1/4, 231 pounds. His clock time in the 40-yard dash was 4.7 second. He finished the cone drill in 7.35, with a vertical leap of 29 1/2 inches and bench pressed 185 pounds 21 times.

He added verbal scholarship offers from Michigan on Wednesday and North Carolina State two weeks ago to his consistently growing list. Some others include Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Louisville, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Tennessee.

"Tennessee was a real cool place when I went there," Hatcher said. "I believe they lost to Georgia when I was down there, but it was a real friendly environment. I loved the fans; they're very supportive fans down there. It's just a big community, and I plan to get back down there."

Hatcher's primary recruiter representing Tennessee is offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who made the trek up to Louisville to see Trinity win one of its 14 games en route to the Fox Sports Next/Scout.com National Championship.

"We talk, he comes up to the school, he's been to a game," said Hatcher, who said he does email Tennessee defensive line coach Lance Thompson as well.

Hatcher notched a sack in the KHSAA Class 6A state championship, which Trinity won 62-21 over Scott County back on Dec. 2.

The edge rusher understands that the ride his team went on his junior season was truly magical.

"This year is going to be forever remembered," Hatcher said. "But, the thing is, we lost all five of our linemen. So, we're just trying to bounce back from that. We're just going to cherish this moment. Our senior class is going to live it up, but it's just a great feeling."

Heading into the state final, Hatcher had tallied 43 tackles (32 solo) and three fumble recoveries, including one he returned for a touchdown.

He noted that he does not have a favorite school presently and is working on his spring and summer schedule for camps still but plans to attend junior days at Alabama, Arkansas and LSU.

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