KNOXVILLE -- Scouring the junior college ranks for defensive line help has become a trend for the University of Tennessee.
After signing one juco D-lineman in each of his first two recruiting classes, Volunteers coach Derek Dooley got a commitment Thursday morning from Damien Jacobs, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound tackle out of East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss.
Jacobs, who played at the same community college as 2011 UT defensive back signee Izauea Lanier, signed with Florida State out of H.L Bourgeois High School in Louisiana. He made 48 tackles with four tackles for loss in 10 games last season.
UT signed John Brown out of Mississippi in 2010, but the former Florida Gator failed to qualify academically. The Vols went to Kansas for 2011 signee Maurice Couch, who enters his first season at UT with considerable hype and lofty expectations.
With senior Malik Jackson due to depart after this season, the Vols needed D-linemen who might make immediate contributions upon their arrivals.
"We certainly had a double need at defensive tackle," Dooley said at Southeastern Conference media days last week. "We don't want to build our program on junior college players. That's not anything against junior college players, but we just believe in bringing them in as freshmen. When we do bring a junior college player in, it does need to be a critical area of need."
Jacobs is the 11th public commitment in UT's 2012 recruiting class.