Vols chasing two-sport star

To land one of the Midwest's top football prospects, Tennessee must beat out most of the Big Ten schools ... and Major League Baseball.

J.B. Paxson is a 6-3, 265-pound defensive end for Center Grove High of Greenwood, Ind. Soon to be be a four-year varsity starter, he recorded 56 solos, 19 tackles for loss and an imposing 27 sacks en route to all-state recognition as a junior. He had 21 sacks as a sophomore and reportedly clocks a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash.

''I have scholarship offers from Arizona, Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Purdue right now,'' Paxson told Chris Pool of TheInsiders.com. ''My favorites are Purdue, Michigan, Illinois, USC, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan State and I'd like to throw an eighth school in there ... How about Notre Dame?

''I really don't have a leader right now. It's early and I want to wait and see who offers me a scholarship in the spring.''

Paxson won't have time to visit many summer football camps because of his skills on the diamond. He is regarded as a top-notch pro baseball prospect after hitting .476 last spring with eight homers.

Reportedly, one Big Ten head coach says Paxson could start for him next season as a true freshman at tackle.

Tennessee has enjoyed some success with combination football/baseball stars in the past. The notables include Condredge Holloway, Tommy West, Randy Wallace, Alan Cockrell and Todd Helton.


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