Warming up to tackle

KNOXVILLE - Malik Jackson hoped for more playing time after transferring from Southern California to Tennessee.

He didn't hope for that time to come at defensive tackle, though.

"I didn't even want to think about it," the California native said Monday morning.

He's warmed up to the idea now.

"Oh, yeah, definitely," he said. "When you play good somewhere, it doesn't seem so bad. I like it a lot now, actually."

Jackson, a former end who weights just 265 pounds, has become the Volunteers' "most consistent" defensive lineman at any spot, coach Derek Dooley said.

"Malik's the most consistent defensive lineman we have, and the most productive," Dooley said. "And he couldn't get on the field at USC, as an aside. He's doing great.

"He's about 30 pounds lighter than what he should be in this league at that position, but he's in there fighting.