Michigan DT fell in love with Rocky Top

Recruiting Analyst InsideTennessee
Posted Feb 22, 2011


One of the nation’s top defensive tackles has Tennessee as his favorite, and where he resides may be somewhat of a surprise to Vol fans. Michigan native Danny O’Brien has taken a trip to Knoxville on two different occasions, and apparently he fell in love with Rocky Top. Go "Inside" to get the latest on his recruitment.

If you're wondering what is the priority for Derek Dooley’s 2012 recruiting, it’s an easy answer.

Defensive tackle, defensive tackle, defensive tackle.

If Dooley and his staff could sign six defensive tackles in this next class, they would.

One of the nation’s top defensive tackles has Tennessee as his favorite, and where he resides might be somewhat of a surprise to Vol fans.

Michigan native Danny O’Brien has taken a trip to Knoxville on two different occasions, and apparently he fell in love with Rocky Top.

“Tennessee is my favorite,” O’Brien told InsideTennessee.com. “I’m still open to other schools, but there are a lot of things I really love about Tennessee.”

O’Brien, a four-star prospect by Scout.com, already has offers from Michigan and Michigan State. O’Brien said he benches 340 pounds and has a 24-inch vertical jump.

“I felt very comfortable at the Tennessee campus,” O’Brien said. “Coach Dooley is a great guy, he is really turning the team around, I like what he is building there.”

O’Brien finished his junior season with 90 tackles, nine sacks, two fumbles caused and two fumbles recovered (one for a touchdown) and had 63 tackles and three sacks as a sophomore.

“I’ve got a great first step off the ball," he said. "I’m very explosive and play hard-nosed and go after the ball. I pursue the quarterback hard.”

O’Brien also got a chance to take in a Tennessee game this past season.

“I went down for the Tennessee-Alabama ballgame,” O’Brien said. “What an awesome experience. I would love playing in that atmosphere.”

When will O’Brien make a decision?

“I will decide some time during my senior season,” O’Brien said. “Tennessee is definitely up there. I like them a lot.”

O’Brien has plans and goals for the future.

“I want to get stronger and quicker,” O’Brien said. “I really want to improve my 40 speed."

He said he runs a 5.1 right now.



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