Tennessee early favorite for PA linebacker

Tennessee early favorite for PA linebacker

After spending a couple of days at Rocky Top, the Vols have apparently impressed a very talented defender. It's no secret that Tennessee has a big need at the linebacker position, evidently the Vol coaching staff has made a very good impression on Pennsylvania linebacker T.J. Neal.

After spending a couple of days at Rocky Top, the Vols have apparently impressed a very talented defender.

It's no secret that Tennessee has a big need at the linebacker position, evidently the Vol coaching staff has made a very good impression on Pennsylvania linebacker T.J. Neal.

When asked if Neal had an early favorite, the talented middle linebacker didn't hesitate.

"Yes Tennessee is my leader," Neal told InsideTennessee.com. "It was great down there, I knew a lot about their tradition and history, it was much better than I expected it to be."

Neal was impressed with Tennessee and more specifically its coaching staff.

"I really like Coach Dooley a lot," Neal said. "The coach that stands out the most to me is Coach Peter Sirmon. We talk a lot, we have built a great relationship."

Could a decision come sooner than later for Neal?

"Right now that's what I'm not certain about," Neal said. "Not sure if it will be before my senior season, after the season or during the season."

The Tennessee coaching staff made it clear to Neal how important he was to their recruiting class.

"I know that they are very thin at the linebacker position," Neal said. "I know I could come in and make an immediate impact."

Neal, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound athlete, currently holds over a dozen offers from school such as Auburn, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Texas Tech and Southern California. He also holds one from Tennessee.

"They are recruiting me hard," Neal said. "They impressed my mom on how much they care about their players and how they treat their players."

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