KNOXVILLE – While most of the attention is on the 2014 signing class that will wrap up in a few weeks, Butch Jones and the Vols are keeping their sights set on the more distant future as well.
Defensive end Dylan Jackson of Maryville, Tenn., committed to Tennessee on Thursday night, multiple recruiting services reported.
Jackson is the seventh commitment in the class of 2015, a group that is expected to be closer to the standard class size of 25 as opposed to UT’s projected bunch of 30-plus coming in this year.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound DE from state champion Maryville High School, located just outside of Knoxville, is a three-star prospect, according to all four major recruiting services (ESPN, Scout, 247Sports and Rivals). He picked UT over offers from Vanderbilt, Duke and Northwestern.
“Possesses very good height on a long, lean frame,” ESPN.com wrote in a scouting report. “Flashes good playing strength. Has the ability to sink and extend for a taller prospect. Can get off of blocks and locate the football in tight areas.
“Jackson is an athletic big man who can rush the passer and collapse the pocket at times but needs to build his strength.”
Jones is continuing his trend of building early relationships and securing quick commitments. Jackson visited UT’s campus multiple times in 2013 and got to know players and the coaching staff. Jones had six commitments for the 2014 class by last March and has already topped that for next year in mid-January.
Tennessee’s 2015 commitments
• WR Preston Williams (4 star)
• LB Cecil Cherry (4 star)
• DE Andrew Butcher (3 star)
• OL Jack Jones (3 star)
• OL Zach Stewart (3 star)
• ATH Jaylond Woods (3 star)
• DE Dylan Jackson (3 star)
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga