by Lee Brecheen
March 9, 2010 – New Head Coach Derrick Dooley has some Louisiana Talent back to help his first team in 2010. There could be as many as four starters for Tennessee from Louisiana hitting the field in 2010. The four players are Herman Lathers, Jarrod Shaw, and Dallas Thomas and Janzen Jackson.
Linebacker Herman Lathers (6-1, 220) is the top returning tackler for Tennessee on defense. Herman had 52 total tackles on the season and 28 of those where solo tackles. Herman was 5th in tackles last year, but the four players in front of him have graduated. Herman was a standout football player in high school at Scotlandville, in Baton Rouge, where he was a teammate of Brandon Bolden (RB Ole MISS), and current teammate Dallas Thomas. That team also had Daverin Geralds, a center from Ole MISS, who just finished, and will probably get drafted in the NFL for April. That was one heck of a team. Herman weighed in at about 200 pounds coming out of high school, but he could run a 4.6 forty all day long, and he wasn’t offered by LSU his senior year. Herman has the NFL speed you look for, but most importantly can read and react on every snap. Herman has put on 15 pounds in college without losing any speed. It would not surprise me if this kid makes ALL SEC in 2010. Herman has a chance to play on Sundays when he’s done.
Jarrod Shaw played high school football at Northside in Lafayette. He weighed about 350 coming out of high school, but now is 332 pounds at 6-4 and moves extremely well. Jarrod was high school teammates with Keiland Williams (RB – LSU), and they where on some great high school teams. Jarrod will be a senior in 2010 and has a shot at being a good one. This kid has waited his turn to start on the offensive line, where most of his career he backed up several players that were talented and ahead of him. Shaw has a shot to play in the NFL too.
Dallas Thomas is a kid who played at Istrouma and Scotlandville high school in Baton Rouge as a high
school player. Dallas has so much upside to be really good, because he has great feet, and a long frame. Thomas will be a Red Shirt (sophomore) in 2010, and will finally get his chance to start. Thomas backed up two NFL prospects who are now off to the NFL for April. The job to start could be his after spring ball at either Tackle or guard on the offensive line.
Janzen Jackson made the ALL SEC freshman team, starting along side the great Eric Berry, who might be one of the top 4 picks of the NFL draft in April. Janzen made several key tackles, and was a leader for the VOL defense in 2009. Janzen stands 6-0 tall, and weighs close to 190. I remember seeing this kid play offense and defense at Carencro high school, where he was big time. Janzen finished his playing days at Barbe high school, where he was a teammate of future star Texas Tech WR E J Celestie. Jackson is a coach’s son, who just flat out has a knack for the football, and he is very fast. This kid changed his pledge to Tennessee from LSU on national signing day, which still stings with a lot of LSU fans. Jackson is a no brainer for the NFL very soon. Jackson could be good enough after his junior season to go PRO.
The new Offensive Coordinator Jim Chaney who comes from the NFL, was the Offensive Coordinator at Purdue, when a young kid named Drew Brees was the QB. These two put up incredible stats in the Big 10. I’m sure Jim is proud of Drew Brees, and the New Orleans Saints being Super Champs in 2010.
|Jarrod Shaw||Herman Lathers||Dallas Thomas|
All photos are courtesy of the University of Tennessee