Tennessee didn’t receive a commitment from David Mahoney but the Vols clearly established themselves as the leader for his services.
“I just want some more visits to see what’s out there for me,” the 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle from Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, Calif., said on Sunday. “Truly, Tennessee is on top but I just want to go on some more visits before I make a decision.”
Mahoney, who took his official visit to UT this weekend along with receiver teammate Kenny Davis, said the two will visit Penn State in October and Texas Tech in November before announcing his decision.
Mahoney said the two would like to continue playing together, if possible.
“It’s something we’d like to do but it’s not a have to,” Mahoney said. “If we both like the same school, we’re going to go to the same school but I’m not going to go to a school that I don’t want to and he’s not going to go to a school he doesn’t want to just to be with me.”
UT is still evaluating Davis.
Mahoney is enjoying the fruits of his junior college labor. Once a marginal prospect coming out of high school, Mahoney is now one of the top junior college defensive tackle prospects in the nation.
Mahoney only had a couple of scholarship offers coming out of high school; the most prominent was Utah.
“I have a million now,” Mahoney said.
Mahoney’s statistical record underscores his penchant for making plays behind the line of scrimmage. In 2008, he registered 12 sacks and 12 more tackles for a loss. This season, he already has three sacks and two other tackles for a loss in three games.
Mahoney seemed intrigued to continue his tutelage under UT defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who is handling Mahoney’s recruitment.
“He’s a great dude,” Mahoney said of Orgeron. “I looked up his track record and he has a lot of dudes that went to the pros. (He’s) got first round picks. Amazing players and he was the main thing that helped them out. He’s a straight shooter.”
If Mahoney has a concern about the Vols or Orgeron, it’s his defensive line rotation. Orgeron regularly plays as many as ten defensive linemen in a game.
“I’m not used to being rotated but I guess if that’s his coaching style and that’s what makes me better and we win like that I don’t mind,” Mahoney said. “If it’s working I’m cool with it.”
Mahoney said he hopes to enroll at his chosen college in January.
As for his official visit to UT, he said the team atmosphere, facilities and “amazing” coaching staff stood out.
“They set the bar,” Mahoney said. “Right now, they’re on top of my list.”