Vols lead for JUCO defensive tackle

Lance McDowdell is as forthright as high-level recruits come. He's open. He's talkative. He's engaging. He's interesting. He's -- as the kids put it - real.
So when the Nassau (N.Y) Community College defensive tackle says he already knows where he's going to commit, he doesn't make much of an effort to keep it a secret. To him, there's no point in that. McDowdell is an open book. If there's one thing you can count on him doing, it's telling it like it is.
He dives in without a trace of hesitance.
"My favorite school? My favorite school is Tennessee," McDowdell said on Wednesday. "They show me the most attention. I just spoke to the head coach. I love the new facility. They give me a good vibe. I like Alabama also, though.
"I already know where I'm going to commit. I just want to give these other schools a chance. I want to see the other schools for myself."
That, it seems, is that. USC is in the mix as well, but McDowdell says he's focused on Tennessee and Alabama for now. That's the mindset he's taken into the process of planning his visits, anyway. No dates have been set in stone just yet, but the groundwork is being laid.
"I'm setting up visits to Tennessee and Alabama, but no other schools right now," he said. "Tennessee is first right now. Alabama is second. I like USC, too. But Tennessee is first for sure."
McDowdell likes to talk about relationships. He also likes to talk about trust. And when he's asked which FBS coach he feels closest to as thing stand now, he stick to the Rocky Top-Orange theme. McDowdell's willingness to share his every thought is refreshing in today's recruiting landscape. He figures, why hide things for the sake of hiding things?
"My favorite is Coach [John] Jancek from Tennessee," McDowdell said. "I really like him. His personality is amazing. He's full of energy, and I love that about him. Know what I'm saying?"
It seems all that's left to do now is take a few visits and complete a few last-minute checklist items. McDowdell says he's all but locked into a future as a Vol. Other teams will have their shot to sway his mind in the coming months. The way McDowdell talks, though, his recruiting future seems loaded with formalities.
"After the year, that's when I'm going to commit," McDowdell said. "I'm going on my visits in November and I'll commit after that. Because, to get me, I have to get along with my coaches. I have to know that they're there for me. I know that it's all business. I know that once you get hurt … I can't just commit until I really know the coaches. They have to play my type of football, too."