December 12, 2010

Return of the Mackey: JuCo DL likes Vols

Football has taken Hinds Community College defensive end Leon Mackey many places. Most recently it brought the 6-foot-5, 260-pound defensive lineman to Knoxville for his fourth official visit of the year.

The one-time Hargrave Military Academy player had already taken visits to Texas Tech, Alabama and South Carolina and has a Mississippi State visit on tap for January. After leaving Tennessee Sunday, the Vols were on top for him.

"After I wrap up my visits (a decision) will come. I do like Tennessee, though, they're on top of my board," Mackey said. "I like it here, I like it here. All the schools that are recruiting me are great places, so it's going to be a tough decision, but I like it here."

A big reason Mackey left with the Vols on top is because of defensive line coach Chuck Smith. He said he saw the relationship he had with his players already on campus and the chemistry they had impressed him.

"The player and coach relationship. The players have a real good relationship with their coach. The defensive linemen love coach Smith and love the way he coaches and stuff like that," Mackey said.

Mackey and Smith had time to start building that relationship this weekend. The two were able to talk about what possibilities there were if Mackey became a Vol.

"He spent a lot of time with me just talking to me about things that I could do and stuff like that. So, I see a good opportunity to go there and play," Mackey said. "The defensive line, it's the best position to play in football to me. It's a joy, and pass-rushing and stopping the run, as a player that's what coach Smith offers and that's what we sat down and talked about."

Mackey's ranked a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and the No. 8 junior college player in the nation.

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