Hartigan on Vol radar

A muscular Floridian who appears to have all of the tools to be a great fit at strong-side linebacker in Tennessee's defensive scheme is sifting through nine scholarship offers these days, including one from the Volunteers.

Josh Hartigan is a 6-foot-2, 215-pounder from Fort Lauderdale who showed excellent agility and coverage skills at Tennessee's recent senior camp. Moreover, he left the UT campus as impressed as he was impressive.

"I really liked the camp; it was exciting," he says. "Wow! Everything was good. I really like the facilities."

Hartigan was one of the most imposing physical specimens at the camp. Toned and talented, he resembled a young Kevin Burnett while exhibiting a nice blend of size, strength and quickness.

"I think I did pretty good," he says. "Everything was fun, and I think I did real well in the one-on-one coverage drills."

Hartigan says he covers 40 yards in 4.65 seconds but he appears a tad quicker than that. He's so fluid, in fact, that he says he'll be playing "a lot of flanker" for Northeast High School this fall after working exclusively on defense last season.

Although he's eager to play some offense, Hartigan knows his college future lies on the other side of the football.

"My best position is outside linebacker," he says. "In our defense it's a lot of running around in the open field. There's not many responsibilities; you just hold your ground. And I like to cover people."

Hartigan did such a good job of holding his ground and covering people last fall that he already has scholarship offers from Tennessee, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Colorado State, Iowa State, Toledo and Akron.

He lists his favorites as "N.C. State, Pittsburgh and Tennessee," but is hoping to attract an offer from Florida State, whose camp he attended last weekend.

"I'd like a chance to be recruited by FSU," he says.

Hartigan describes himself as "fast, aggressive, hard to block and hard-hitting." He also considers himself a team leader.

"I'm always telling people to do what they gotta do," he says. "I'm always trying to help out other players, help practice go smooth."

A prep teammate of heralded running back Bo Williams, Hartigan recalls that Northeast High School struggled through an 0-7 season last fall, with several games canceled by hurricane damage.

"We didn't have good leadership and didn't have a set quarterback, so it was hard," he recalls. "And our O-line wasn't the best around."

Tennessee already has one player from the Fort Lauderdale area on its roster – redshirt freshman defensive lineman Vladimir Richard. Josh Hartigan just might boost the number to two in the months ahead.

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