UT on trail of big 'backer

Tennessee has an excellent shot at one of the South's top linebacker prospects in the recruiting class of 2005.

Jonathan Anderson is a 6-1, 230-pounder from Ocean Springs (Miss.) High School. He missed most of last season with a broken ankle, but the numbers he reportedly compiled in limited action are most impressive.

''I only got to play in the first two games before I broke my ankle,'' Anderson told Scott Kennedy of TheInsiders.com. ''I had 42 tackles with 27 solo tackles in those two games though. I like to compare my game to Ray Lewis, very aggressive and playing with a lot of passion.''

Anderson has good bloodlines. His mother, Sandra, played basketball at Southern Mississippi.

Although he is hearing from schools all over the Southeast, Anderson says five schools are in the lead at present.

''Right now, my top five is Southern Miss, LSU, Miami, Arkansas, and Tennessee,'' he said. ''I went to the Mississippi State/Memphis game last year, too. I've been getting letters from all of those schools and also teams like Nebraska, Colorado, and Memphis.''

Anderson also basketball and track. A good student, he should be a full qualifier academically.

Tennessee is losing one linebacker (Robert Peace) to graduation this June, and will lose another (Kevin Burnett) in June of 2005. Kevin Simon, Jason Mitchell, Marvin Mitchell, Jon Poe and Omar Gaither will be seniors in 2006, however, so linebacker will be a major priority in UT's 2005 signing class.

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