A last-minute phone call sent one of Tennessee's top draft-eligible prospects to one of the biggest national showcases.
Defensive lineman Malik Jackson received an invitation to the Senior Bowl late Monday night, according to the event's Twitter feed. An addition to the South roster, Jackson did not go through Monday's highly scrutinized weigh-in, but will perform in all activities moving forward until Saturday's game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Jackson, who was the target of frequent double and triple teams last season, led the Vols with 2.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss, the latter ranking 13th in the SEC. When he converted from defensive end to defensive tackle midway through 2010, Jackson, who transferred to UT from Southern Cal after his sophomore season, racked up 10 tackles for loss, five of which were sacks, in the regular season's final six games.
Jackson, listed at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, projects as a defensive end in the NFL, according to NFLDraftScout.com. The website ranks him as the country's No. 11 defensive end and projects him to be selected in the fourth round.
Jackson's invitation extends the Vols' streak of placing at least one player in the Senior Bowl. Tight end Luke Stocker, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, represented UT last season.