Vols fighting for Grace

Jermaine Grace

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With only athlete Jalen Reeves-Maybin rated as the only linebacker in the 2013 commtiment class thus far, Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and his staff are looking for backers.

One player that Tennessee is hard after is three-star outside linebacker Jermaine Grace. The 6-foot-2, 205 pounder is fresh off an official visit with the Volunteers after having visited Tennessee under the former coaching staff.

"I visited Tennessee back during the summer so some of it was the same, but the new facilities and the new coaches were there," Grace said. "It was real awesome just to see new faces and the new things that they have built on campus.

"The stadium, the campus, the (hydrotherapy) room and the coaching staff. The coaching staff, they have a plan and prepare very well. They want to be great."

Given Tennessee's needs at the linebacker position Jones and company have made Grace's recruitment a group effort.

"Right now every coach is recruiting me," Grace said. "I get calls from everyone so it's not really who is recruiting me, but who is calling me. All the coaches just tell me the same thing and how much they appreciate me coming out."

Grace was hosted for a second time by former JACK linebacker Jordan Williams who already developed a relationship with the No. 40 outside linebacker in the 2013 class.

"Jordan Williams, I was with him over the summer too," he said. "When they asked me who I wanted to be hosted by I told them Jordan Williams again because I had a real bond with him. I know the whole team. I met a few new people when I went out and had fun."

A Miramar, Fla., native, Grace has the Vols among his top three schools along with Miami and Louisville, where he will visit next weekend.

"I have Louisville next week and I am just going to see which of those three schools that I am going to end up at," he said. "I love Miami. That is my hometown, but I love Tennessee. I am just going to see how Louisville is and I will make my decision on signing day."

Grace, who claims 4.48 40-yard dash speed, says that Tennessee, among others, want him as a WILL linebacker in their new 4-3 defense.

"Everyone wants me to be a cover backer, a WILL backer covering the slot tight ends and blitzing off the edge," he said. "They told me I have a chance to play early if I come in there and do what I have to do. I don't really like when coaches tell me I will start because that isn't going to get me anywhere."

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