Jacques Smith just keeps getting better.
Tennessee’s first commitment of the 2010 signing class ran the fastest 40-yard dash of his life during Monday’s football camp for linemen at UT when he posted a time of 4.62 seconds.
“It’s amazing that I’m still in shape and was able to perform like I did today,” said the defensive end from Ooltewah High School, who was also one of the most dominant defensive linemen in pass rushing drills. “It really makes me feel good. I didn’t know I had all that in me.”
The 40-yard dash and quickness in drills is even more impressive considering Smith is 10 to 15 pounds heavier than he was during the 2008 season.
Smith also wasn’t able to perform football drills for almost three weeks as he ran track, which certainly helped his speed.
“I could tell I had gotten faster because of track season,” Smith said.
Smith also posted a vertical jump of 34 inches during Monday’s camp.
“It was really hardcore compared to last year’s with the last coaching staff,” said Smith, who is 6-foot-2 ½ “It was just so much more intense.
The added intensity came mostly from defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
“Coach Orgeron just pushes you to go hard the whole time and not to give up, finish each drill just like you did the first time,” Smith said. “I really enjoyed it. That’s how I play and that’s why I really like coach Orgeron.”
As he’s repeatedly vowed to do, Smith was recruiting for the Vols once again. His target was again offensive lineman James Stone.
“I was really getting James Stone,” Smith said referring to the Maplewood High School star. “I was talking to him a lot. I was telling him after practice ‘You need to go ahead and commit today.’ I know he loved it today.”
Stone stayed long after the camp to visit with UT’s coaching staff but isn’t thought to have committed. Stone, however, couldn’t be reached for comment late Monday evening.
Stone is one of the best prospects in the state, a top offensive line prospect in the region and a high priority for UT.
As for Smith, he looked completely comfortable in his commitment as he bobbed his head and lip-synched to the rap music UT played during the final session of Monday’s camp.
“That just made it even better,” Smith said. “(UT’s coaches are) just cool like that. If you work hard at our school, we get to listen to music in the locker room. If we don’t, we get it taken away.
“I think it’s just another thing to get you hyped up a little more.”
Smith plans to enroll at UT in January, meaning he won’t have high school track or basketball to distract him from reaching his football potential.
“All during basketball season, I felt like I was out of shape but I guess I wasn’t,” Smith said. “I’m definitely in football shape.”