Derrick Calloway, who will be a senior at Manatee High School this fall, recently got the message about the Vols' D-tackle woes from some of his neighborhood buddies.
"Actually, I was at my friend's house, and they were telling me they (Vols) didn't have any D-tackles," Calloway said moments after participating in Tennessee's recent camp. "I was like, 'All right, this may be good for me.'"
Simply put, the Big Orange is looking long and hard at anyone with the size, agility and toughness to play defensive tackle at the collegiate level - and Calloway believes he qualifies on all three counts. That's why he piled into a Chevy Suburban with a bunch of other Bradenton prospects and set out on an adventure that featured stops at Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida State.
"Me and some other football players are making a tour of some colleges," Calloway explained during his stop in Knoxville, "and this one (Tennessee) is on the list."
The 6-0, 294-pound rising senior described his stay at Tennessee as "great," adding: "I love the stadium."
Calloway spent most of the camp working with Vol defensive line coach Lance Thompson.
"He was great," the prospect said. "He's a great guy. He has a presence about him."
Calloway noticed one thing about Tennessee's camp that really impressed him.
"This camp was more organized than some of the other camps I've been to," he said.
Asked to describe his style of play, Calloway replied: "I think I'm a great player. I get after it ... run and hit."
The young defender believes he benefited greatly from participating in the Vol camp. In fact, when asked which of the drills helped him most, he grinned and answered: "All of them. All of the drills we did helped me."