GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida has the first official signee of its Class of 2012.
Damien Jacobs, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound defensive tackle from East Mississippi Community College who was previously committed to Tennessee, announced the switch on Wednesday afternoon. The school later confirmed it received his signed letter of intent and expects Jacobs to enroll in January and participate in spring practice.
"I just joined the Florida Gator family!" Jacobs posted on his Facebook page.
Jacobs said he sees an opportunity at Florida, and that is why he ultimately picked the Gators.
“I chose Florida because I feel like that’s the best place for me to get early playing time in the SEC,” Jacobs said. “We're going to have a great team and win a lot of games.”
Jacobs said he informed coach Will Muschamp of his decision earlier this week.
“I told Coach Muschamp two days ago,” he said. “He was real excited and said he can’t wait for me to get here.”
Jacobs is the Gators' second junior college defensive tackle addition this week. On Sunday, Visesio Salt committed to the Gators after taking his official visit to Florida.
Florida struggled to stop the run against more physical teams such as Alabama and LSU this season. The addition of Salt and Jacobs should help provide size and much-needed depth to the Gators' defensive line.
Jacobs said he should be able to help in the run defense immediately.
“I’m a run-stopper,” he said. “I can rush the quarterback, too, but I’m a certified run-stopper.”
In addition to the Florida and Tennessee offers, Jacobs also held offers from Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Florida State and Texas Tech.
Jacobs was a three-star prospect coming out of Houma (La.) H.L. Bourgeois. He originally committed to Florida State in 2010 but never enrolled and spent the past two seasons at East Mississippi CC.