Rebs jump into mix for Memphis standout

John Stokes (LB, Memphis, TN) - One of the more hotly contested players in the state of Tennessee kicked off his season this past Saturday against traditionally rich Melrose.

"We played Melrose in the Bridge Classic in our home opener on Saturday. It went real good. We pulled it out 17-14. It was a very tough game but exciting too. What a great way to kick off our season.", added John Stokes.

How did John fare in the game?

"I think I made 8 tackles and couple of them were for losses."

What most has Stokes improved on this season?

"I have gotten a little stronger and maybe a little faster. I am more comfortable with our defensive system, and that has made me more confident. I feel like I am playing pretty well."

Some still project John to move down to DE because of his size.

"I am right at 6' 5", 225 right now."

Who are Stokes' most recent offers?

"My most recent offers are from Virginia and Colorado."

Which brings his total to?

"I have 12 offers now. Memphis, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, Stanford, Michigan, Vandy, Wake Forest, Colorado, and Virginia."

Which colleges are showing John the most interest?

"That is tough. Ole Miss stays in contact with me as much as anybody. Vandy is real interested. Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee has Coach Roper recruiting me. He stays in touch a good bit. Virginia and Colorado are real recent. They both offered me last week. Stanford has been there for a while. They write a lot of letters and text message me a bunch."

Which colleges is Stokes keeping an eye on?

"Kind of all of them. I am still pretty open. I plan on being at the Ole Miss/Memphis game. I have not narrowed it down. I am going to go to some games and narrow it then."

Which colleges did John visit over the Spring and Summer periods?

"I went to a bunch of schools during the Spring. I went to Ole Miss' Jr Day and also their passing camp. I went to the Hoover 7 on 7 tournament. I know that is not a campus, but our team played in that tournament. Me and my dad went on an I40 tour to Wake Forest on down to Knoxville and then down to Nashville."

How did his Ole Miss visits go?

"The passing camp was when they offered me. I met with Coach Orgeron in his office with my dad and mother. He told me that I had a scholarship offer, and we had a good conversation. We talked about his goals and what he has in store for me. You could see his enthusiasm and passion for the game. It got me kind of fired up listening to him. He loves football and is dedicated to making that program competitive in the SEC. He is a great football coach and his love for the game would make it fun to play for."

What about John's Wake Forest visit?

"It's a great campus. It is different. It is a small school playing big time football in the ACC. They have gotten better and better there. They have a great staff. I have a former teammate, Russell Nennon, who is a freshman there. He toured me around their campus. I like their staff, and it was a good weekend. It is a different atmosphere than a huge SEC school, but they have a really nice campus and they are a great academic school. It was a good visit."

And Tennessee?

"It was good. I met with Coaches Fulmer and Cutcliffe. They are fun guys to be around. They are big names, and they have a big time football program. Coach Roper is recruiting me, and we have a really good relationship. He showed me around their campus and took me on a tour of their football facilities. It was good to see what Tennessee football is all about. They offered me a scholarship a couple of days after I visited. That was exiting. It was good meeting with those coaches."

Both of John's parents graduated from Vandy.

"That was a great visit too. I have been to Vandy a few times, but this past Spring was my first football visit. I got to meet some of the players this time, and I got to spend more time with their coaches. We sat down and watched some film. I like Vandy a lot. They have obviously struggled as a program recently, but they seemed pretty focused on getting better and having a winning season. It was a great visit."

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