Darrington Sentimore is a player whom Bama fans were foaming at the mouth over and looking forward to seeing him start as a sophomore after playing in 11 games as a redshirt freshman while recording nine tackles, forcing a fumble and hurrying the quarterback four times.
Then he was suspended indefinitely for undisclosed reasons and chose to transfer. But Darrington Sentimore knew he wanted to play in the SEC. And he wanted the chance to show Alabama what they missed out on. So he transferred to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for a year and decided to join Tennessee as an early-enrollee.
Showing up in December, Sentimore was at around 300 pounds and slightly out of shape being away from SEC-level play for a year. He has since trimmed down according to Sal Sunseri.
“I think he's lost about 15 to 20 pounds since spring ball and it's made a difference for him.”
Going through Spring Practice and summer drills was key for Sentimore in showing up in shape and ready to go for Fall camp and he's made the most of his opportunity.
“I think his level of maturity has gotten so much better the kid knows now exactly what to do how to do it and why he's doing it and he's doing it at a pace that is extremely fast which is very disruptive.” said Sal.
Having experience in the 3-4 defense which Sal has borrowed from Alabama to create Tennessee's defense this year didn't hurt his development any either and has really given Sentimore a head start on his competition. When asked who was stepping up on the team as a leader, Sunseri had this to say, “The guy that really has come in here and done a fantastic job is Sentimore. “He's come in and he's in better shape. He's been very, very reckless with his body. I'm extremely proud of him – the way that he's been practicing. Kinda setting the tone for the defense.”
He is a fantastic pass-rusher and is also incredibly strong and quick for his size. Barring injury, Sentimore is going to be something we did not have last year and that's a guy who can stop the run as effectively as he can put pressure on the quarterback. He is going to be key down the stretch as we get into the meat of the schedule and I think he's poised to have an incredible season.
“I think he's understanding the game more he's not just going out there and doing it on his own. He knows where he has to be but I'm extremely proud of him.”