If people in south Florida did not know Alton Bailey before Armwood’s 2008 season, they were asking about him after the team’s opener.
Taking on eventual 4A champion Plant High, the 6-foot-3, 270-pound prospect came up with a pair of sacks on highly touted gunslinger Aaron Murray.
That set the tone for a season that saw Bailey become one of the state’s most dominant interior linemen.
“I think that I am tough for a lot of people because I have a lot of speed, so when I get going I am tough to stop,” he said. “My junior year was just a taste of things to come, because I definitely feel like I have more to show this coming season.”
Bailey was a sophomore starter for Tampa Tech before moving his game east to Seffner before the 2008 season.
As a junior he recorded over 30 tackles and 6 sacks, including 3-sacks in the regional final against Tampa Tech. His performance earned All-County First Team, All-Sun Coast First Team, and All-State Third Team honors.
“The recruiting with coaches has picked up a lot because of my big season,” he said. “I have not really checked my mail with my coach in a while, but I know I have some big time offers from schools like LSU, Alabama and South Florida.”
The Tigers, whom he named as his “dream school”, are awaiting a visit from the nation’s no. 32 ranked defensive tackle prospect.
“I want to get down to Baton Rouge as soon as possible, because LSU is a school that has been on my mind for a long time,” he said. “The Tigers are definitely one of my favorite teams, so just to have an offer from them is big time.”
Bailey said that an AAU tournament sparked the interest, which he hopes will ignite once more during his return trip to the Tiger campus.
“I had been down to Baton Rouge with some basketball stuff, and we were able to see things around LSU and do some stuff in the gym,” he said. “The whole atmosphere seemed straight to me, so I want to find out what the football team is all about.
“They offered me pretty early, and that shows me that they are interested,” he added. “The coaches want me to come down at the start of the summer so they can let me know more about the program and why they offered, so I am excited about that.”
What is the 3-star looking for from a college program?
“I think academics are the top priority for me, because that is what school is all about,” he said. “After that, I just want to get a fair shot to play some big time college football. Whoever can give me that chance has a good shot.”