4-Star OL Talks All-Stars, Auburn, Recruiting

Talented offensive line prospect James Stone talks about his experience playing in the Under Armour game and the recruiting process.

Nashville, Tenn.--A four-star offensive lineman and one of the top prospects in the South this year, 6-4, 290 James Stone has had his share of attention growing up, but nothing like the attention he's received in his senior year.

Stone was in the spotlight on Saturday when he took part in the Under Armour All-American Football Game in St. Petersburg. Playing on national television against some of the top football prospects in the country, Stone says the chance to play in the game and measure himself against his peers is something he will never forget.

"It was a great experience," Stone tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I got a lot of work in. I was able to compete with a lot of guys I'll probably face on the next level. It was real good competition."

James Stone blocks during the Under Armour game.

As one of the nation's top prospects, Stone has also gotten plenty of attention from college coaches and recruiting services this year as signing day has gotten closer. He notes it has been much different than he expected when the hoopla started last March.

"It is more involved than I thought it was going to be," Stone says. "I didn't know people cared that much about recruiting. As the season went on it kind of dawned on me."

The attention from colleges has been hot and heavy for Stone although he has taken things much more slowly than many other prospects of his stature. Deciding to keep relatively quiet throughout his senior year, Stone points out that he's currently looking at just a few colleges with less than a month until he signs on the dotted line with the program of his choice.

If Stone has a favorite, he is keeping it to himself. He notes that he has been looking at Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Stanford in no particular order and hometown Vandy is also trying to sign the lineman.

"(Tennessee) is young and they graduate a lot of offensive linemen," he says. "The opportunity is there and they have a good system.

"Alabama has a solid program and great coaches," says Stome, who is expected to take an official visit to check on the the Tide on Jan. 15th. "It's a great football school.

"Auburn has really good coaches and a great family atmosphere," says the lineman, who is expected to take an official visit to check out the Tigers on Jan. 22nd. "That would make you a more well-rounded player. They have an explosive offense that always puts up good numbers.

"Stanford is an exceptional academic school," he says. "It seems like this year they've improved the football aspect. They're going good places there."

Stone took official visits to Notre Dame and LSU in the fall, but does not mention those colleges among his finalists.

Commenting on the Under Armour All-Star Game, which included practices in Orlando, he says, "It was kind of tough on the linemen. It was alright though. We had some problems on special teams and we never really had good field position. We could never get a rhythm going, but it was still fun to get out there and go against strong competition.

"I thought I played pretty well," he says. "A couple of times we had some miscommunications on the line, but that is something that is going to happen in an all-star game with just a couple of practices. The offensive line positions need a lot of practice together and a lot of bonding.

"The all-star week was a great experience," he adds. "I got to meet a lot of good guys I am probably going to see later on in college."

Stone played guard in the all-star game, but notes that he isn't sure if guard or tackle will be his position in college. "I have been getting mixed reviews about that," he says. "Coaches have been telling me either or. I will play whatever position gets me on the field the fastest."

Expected to take an official visit to Auburn on Jan. 22nd, Stone says that he is seriously interested in the Tigers. "I am visiting Auburn. They have got a great coaching staff and a great football team. I really like their offense that Gus Malzahn has put in. I like their people."


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