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June 21, 2007
OL class strong in state of Tennessee
Looking at the Rivals.com Tennessee Top 15 for the Class of 2008, offensive line is without a doubt an area of strength in the Volunteer State this year. Three of the top four prospects in-state and four of the top seven, including the state's top overall prospect, offensive tackle Barrett Jones of Memphis Evangelical Christian, are future offensive linemen.
Jones is an athletic big man who could play tackle or potentially slide inside to guard in college. His footwork and athleticism both are advanced for a prospect his size. He's an excellent basketball player and that sport has helped him develop into a nice football prospect. At the Columbia (Mo.) NIKE Camp, he battled Rivals100 guard prospect Trevor Robinson for supremacy as the event's top offensive line prospect.
Jones has scholarship offers from most of the major schools in the Southeast and from some other programs that recruit nationally. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA and Vanderbilt are among Jones' offers. His father played basketball at Bama and Auburn and Florida have been strong as well.
Maryville tight end Aaron Douglas isn't going to boast the offer list of Jones because he committed to Tennessee early in the process. Douglas is a big, athletic prospect who likely projects as an offensive tackle in college.
Brentwood Academy's Chris Jordan could play running back or linebacker in college. The feeling is that linebacker is his more natural position. Jordan has the ability to take over games on either side of the ball at the high school level and projects well in college, too. Clemson and Alabama appear to be the strongest at the moment.
Nashville Montgomery Bell Academy offensive tackle Preston Bailey checks in at No. 4 on the list. Bailey has the size and is athletic. He also boats a nice offer list that includes Tennessee, Miami, Clemson and others.
Memphis Wooddale linebacker Marlon Walls has been on the radar of many schools for some time. Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Louisville and Ole Miss among others are in the mix.
Rounding out the top 10 are Smyrna wide receiver Rodriguez Wilks, Murfreesboro Riverdale offensive guard David Spurlock, Lewisburg Marshall County jumbo athlete Don'ta Hightower, Alcoa athlete Brian Sommer and Kingsport Sullivan South quarterback Curt Phillips.
Wilkes has been one of the top players in the Nashville area since his sophomore year. Tennessee appears to be the team to beat, but he recently had a good showing at Florida's camp.
Spurlock is an excellent guard prospect. Tennessee and Alabama remain at the top for him. Sommer likes South Carolina and the Vols and Phillips, who could be the steal of the year at quarterback in the Southeast, is committed to Wisconsin.
Of particular intrigue is Hightower. He doesn't come from an area that's known for producing boatloads of talent, but appears to be an elite prospect that could potentially play linebacker or somewhere else. Alabama made quite an impression during a recent unofficial visit, but plenty of schools are in on him.
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