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Martaze Jackson commits to Tennessee

Demopolis senior defensive end Martaze Jackson solidified his college plans Saturday when he offered his verbal commitment to the University of Tennessee. As a Volunteer, the Tiger standout is projected to shift from his customary defensive end position to an outside linebacker slot.

“He’s definitely got all the physical tools,” Demopolis head coach Tom Causey said of the 6-3, 215-pound Jackson. “He has the height and the body weight and the speed and the agility. He’s got upside because he can do both (the defensive end and outside linebacker positions). If he struggles early standing up, they can always let him put his hand on the ground and go from there, let him grow into the linebacker position.”

Jackson, a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com, boasts a 40 in the 4.5 range. That speed and quickness enabled Jackson to wreak havoc in opposing backfields in 2009, a season in which he recorded 38 total tackles including 26 for loss with 11 sacks and three forced fumbles. But, according to Causey, his value to the Demopolis state championship run was not limited to his production on the field.

“Martaze is a great person. His parents have raised a guy who is almost honest to a fault,” Causey said. “His work ethic is a good as anybody I have ever been around. He’ll be a success no matter what he does because of his work ethic and his character.”

Jackson had previously considered South Alabama, a prospect that evaporated when assistant coach Dameyune Craig accepted a position on the Florida State staff. Jackson also held offers from UAB among others. The senior was not immediately available for comment but confirmed his commitment via text message Sunday.