Jackson wakes up a Vol

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When spring practice came to a close and the Tennessee coaching staff hit the recruiting trail you knew one thing, junior college prospects' names would soon follow as the climbed recruiting boards.

Just a few days later, Blinn (Texas) Community College wide receiver Kameel Jackson committed to the Big Orange.

"I actually talked to (Tennessee wide receivers) coach (Zach) Azzanni first and he was really excited when I told him the news," Jackson told InsideTennessee. "He talked a lot about the new direction of the Tennessee program and how I could help them with that plan. He was just really excited about the commitment.

"After I called him I called coach (Butch) Jones and I thought coach Jones knew I had committed, but we talked for like 10 minutes and I realized he didn't know so I told him. He was really excited and said he was doing fist pumps. It was awesome."

Jackson, who claims 4.42 40-yard-dash speed, actually contacted Azzanni about his interest in the Vols prior to his spring game last week, which the Vol coach attended and then offered, on the spot.

"I actually contacted coach Azzanni and let him know I would be interested in Tennessee," he said. "He actually came out to my spring game and he ended up offering me that night.

"When I got the offer I was so excited. I actually pretty much knew right then that I wanted to come to Tennessee, but I wanted to give it a few days and pray about it. Then I woke up this morning and felt like a Volunteer and committed."

Wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni (pictured) liked what he saw in Jackson with a trip to the Lone Star State this spring.
(Danny Parker/InsideTennessee.com)
The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder plays his redshirt sophomore season at Blinn this fall before transferring to Tennessee for the spring semester of 2014 and will have two seasons of eligibility for the Orange & White.

The Arlington, Texas, native originally declared to play his college ball at Oklahoma a day before a Lane Kiffin-led Tennessee team pounded Georgia 45-19 at Neyland Stadium. That made Jackson the first pledge of the Sooners' signing class of 2011. He had scholarship offers from Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Tulsa.

"Tennessee actually offered me when coach (Lane) Kiffin was there when I was coming out of high school," he said. "I liked Tennessee a lot, but Oklahoma was a better fit for me at the time."

His freshman season in Norman, Okla., resulted in 12 receptions for 165 yards. However, he was suspended by head coach Bob Stoops and couldn't get back on the roster, resulting in a transfer to Louisiana-Monroe. NCAA transfer rules forced him to sit out the 2012 season.

"Playing at Oklahoma really got me ready for coming back into big-time college football," he said. "The Big 12 is a great conference that I think helped me be ready for the SEC. I went to a bowl game and did all that. Coach Stoops really coached me hard there and Coach Z says he is going to do the same thing at Tennessee. Being in a college weight program helped me a lot too so I know what to expect there."

An ankle injury hampered Jackson's senior year on the prep level in 2010. Natural maturity saw him pack on weight from 185 pounds to 208.

In 2009, he missed time due to a knee injury. He did play some with a heavy brace on his right knee that October in a game versus Arlington High, catching five passes for 80 yards and a 23-yard touchdown in a 63-6 loss.

Back in 2008, he hauled in 54 catches for 741 yards with seven touchdowns while at Sam Houston (Texas) High School.

"The best part of my game is really my route running," Jackson said. "When I was back at home I was actually working with a wide receivers coach that played in the NFL for a little while. He really helped me with that. Now I just want to polish my game and become an overall better receiver. The main thing is my blocking. I want to improve that this fall."

Stay tuned for more Tennessee football recruiting updates from InsideTennessee.com.

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