Three-star OLB has Vols among leaders

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The Tennessee Volunteers already have three outside linebackers committed in the 2013 recruiting class including Zach Barnes, DeVondre Campbell and Dominic Zanca, but another hybrid body type has crept onto the radar.

Three-star prospect Justin Bridges-Thompson recently visited the Volunteers and he was blown away after his first visit to Rocky Top.

"What stood out to me is when I am pulling up to Tennessee I see that big stadium," Bridges-Thompson told InsideTennessee. "It is a really big stadium. That is one of the main things that stood out to me. Other than that I liked everything.

"Things went pretty good. This was my first time being at Tennessee. I showed the coaches what I could do. I just got back last week playing for team USA and played outside linebacker there. I started at outside linebacker here and then finished up at safety."

The Spartanburg, S.C.. native has offers from Memphis, Arizona, Pittsburg, North Carolina State and Wake Forest. Recently, the rising junior listed Tennessee and Wake Forest as his top schools.

"I talked to coach (Derek) Dooley," he said. "He really likes me, but he isn't sure where they would put me quite yet — safety or outside linebacker. He told me to keep in touch. He wants to me check in with coach (Jay) Graham. They want me come back for a couple of games and show me around some more."

Bridges-Thompson is coming off a monster junior season for Spartanburg (S.C.) High School when he racked up 155 tackles. He bench presses 275 pounds, squats 420, and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, Bridges-Thompson has a bit of a tweener body, but given that Tennessee runs the 3-4 defense he doesn't care which position he ends up at.

"They are both kind of the same," he said. "Depending on the defense, in the 3-4 defense you drop down and cover the flat at safety. Either or is really fine with me.

"Right now Tennessee is one of my top schools. I like Tennessee. It was my first time being here and I see a couple things that I like. I like Tennessee a lot."

Bridges-Thompson spent two weeks with Team USA in Texas over the summer, which was a valuable experience.

"I feel like I did great," he told FOX Sports NEXT. "It was the best high school players from around the country all on one team. There were only 11 spots on defense and you're trying to start so that's pretty competitive. For me to start all three games was great."

Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.

Chris Price is a staff writer for He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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