Four-star takes in Rocky Top

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As an intricate part of one of the country's premier high school teams, Jason Hatcher brings more to the table than just sheer talent — he's a winner.

The four-star defensive end has earned a plethora of honors after the completion of his junior season at Trinity (Ky.) High School.

The Shamrocks have gone 38-6 last three seasons under coach Bob Beatty, including two straight KHSAA Class 6A state championships. They have proven to be one of the more dominant teams around, having won their last state crown with a 41-point victory over previously-undefeated Scott County. In 2010, they took down Male 38-0 in another 6A final.

Over a dozen schools are hard after Hatcher, including Tennessee, with many more likely to pull the trigger in the coming months.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder made a return trip to Knoxville over the weekend and said he was impressed with the Volunteers considering "how much time they spend on things and preparing my film."

Sitting alongside Hatcher in the film room at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center breaking things down was Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, who continues to turn the head of prospects considering the Big Orange.

"He's a really great coach, and a really good teacher," Hatcher told InsideTennessee. "We had some time to go over my film and some things to work on for the upcoming season."

A small truckload of defensive ends/outside linebackers have offers on the table from Tennessee as it moves forward to installing a 3-4 defensive alignment. Sunseri talked with the all-state performer about playing the JACK linebacker position.

"I think it would be fine," Hatcher said. "That was one of the things we looked at with my film at Trinity was dropping back into coverage. Everything's pretty much the same."

Before making his way back to Kentucky, he and several prospects took in the Tennessee men's basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena with over 21,100 members of Big Orange Country.

"They're great fans. They're very supportive of UT and that whole program and they support their teams," said Hatcher, whose voice was hoarse from cheering on his classmates at a Trinity basketball game.

Hatcher has scored a 19 on the ACT and has a sincere desire to get into veterinary medicine in college. In fact, finding the right program for his major is the most important factor to him in his recruitment.

"I want to start up my own animal clinic. I've just always had dogs and had a passion for dogs," Hatcher said.

Although he doesn't know when, the Bluegrass State product is certain he will visit Knoxville again soon. His more immediate plans involve trips to see South Carolina and Michigan before a journey to the west coast.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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