Posted by Bryan Fischer
College coaches are always trying to recruit a year ahead so they can get a jump on offering the next must-have recruit. Tennessee jumped on Flint (Mich.) defensive tackle Danny O'Brien early, extending him his first scholarship offer, and that paid off Thursday afternoon as the big lineman committed to the Vols.
“The feeling I felt at Tennessee was just a feeling I never got at other schools,” O’Brien told 247Sports. “I definitely can see myself there for four to five years, and I can’t wait to play at Neyland Stadium.”
One of the top interior linemen in the Midwest, the 6-foot-3, 285-pound O'Brien selected Tennessee over offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida, Iowa and Michigan State. While the early offer certainly helped the Vols' case, the deciding factor in favor of the program was the connection he made with his primary recruiter.
"I’m close with a lot of the coaches, but definitely (linebackers) coach (Peter) Sirmon," O'Brien said. "We’ve been on the phone every other week since I was a sophomore, and he helped me through a lot of things I’d gone through in recruiting. He connected with me, and I’m however many miles away. Those coaches are tremendous, and they do a great job there. I can’t wait to play for them.”
O'Brien is the 18th commitment for Tennessee in the class of 2012 and the fourth along the defensive line.
"He refuses to stay blocked, does a great job of handling the double-team, and he's very athletic for a 285 pounder with good lateral agility," analyst Tom Lemming said of O'Brien. "He moves well down the line, has a great motor, and never lets up. I really like this young man's potential, desire, and attitude."