Hendrix eyeing Orange future?

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Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling has been hard at working since he stepped onto Rocky Top trying to develop a "pass-rush mentality."

One player he'd love to teach that philosophy to, four-star defensive end and O'Fallon, Ill., native Dewayne Hendrix. The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder was in town for the Dish Network Orange & White game and loved every minute.

"It was a really nice visit," Hendrix told InsideTennessee. "I really enjoyed myself today. For it to only be a spring game the atmosphere was crazy. They had 60,000 people in there for the spring game. That wasn't even a regular season game. For regular season games they have over 100,000 people in there."

Tennessee wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni is courting Hendrix, who is being heavily recruited by USC, Ohio State, Ole Miss and Michigan State along with Tennessee.

"It has been great getting to know coach Azzanni," he said. "He is the recruiting coordinator here and we talk a lot. He is one of my favorite coaches to talk with."

Hendrix racked up 60 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks for O'Fallon (Ill.) High School as a junior and says distance from home will not factor into his decision.

"Distance from home isn't important to me," he said. "I just want to feel comfortable at the place that I am going to be for the next four years. That is really important to me. I just want to be a part of a family where I go."

Superstars like Arian Foster, Eric Berry and Justin Hunter showing up in support of the Tennessee program Saturday afternoon wasn't lost on the No. 12 defensive end in the 2014 class according to FOX Sports NEXT.

"You can really tell the Vol For Life program means something to those guys," he said. "Seeing all those players come back for this is cool. It is a good thing for sure."

Hendrix didn't give his pledge to Butch Jones and company following the visit, but it wasn't hard to tell where he was leaning on his way out of Neyland Stadium considering he was wearing almost as much Orange as the Tennessee defense, who came out clad in Orange from head to toe.

"Tennessee is my No. 1 right now," he said. "This is just a really great place."

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