Snubbed Gator signee and four-star recruit headed to Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Twenty-four weeks after National Signing Day, the University of Tennessee picked up a major prospect.

Wednesday afternoon, defensive tackle Dante Phillips told Knoxville radio station WNML-AM 990 that he has signed scholarship papers to play football at Tennessee.

The 6'6", 330 pound Phillips said he signed the papers Wednesday and that he has been admitted to the school, but isn't sure yet when he will report.

The Venice, Florida native was a Rivals 4-star prospect coming out of high school and was ranked the ninth best defensive tackle in the class of 2012.

In February, Phillips signed with the Gators, but two weeks ago, Florida denied him admission.

Earlier this month, Phillips told ESPN.com he wasn't sure why he was denied, saying he was cleared by the NCAA to play for any school in the nation.

"It didn't upset me that much because God does things for a reason," Phillips told the Sports Animal.

"Maybe this is where I'm meant to be. Florida wasn't meant for me, so I found a new home."

Phillips cited a quick bond with new Tennessee defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri as a reason to play for the Vols.

"I look forward to playing for that guy," Phillips said. "It's not just that I'll be playing defensive end. I can move inside and out and it just makes me more versatile."

Sunseri is installing a new 3-4 defensive scheme at Tennessee.

Phillips says he's currently 330 pounds, but will work to get his weight down to around 295 pounds.


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