Tennessee OL Likes Gamecocks

Montgomery Bell (Nashville, TN) offensive lineman Preston Bailey is one of the top offensive line prospects in the southeast this year, and the Volunteer State standout picked up an offer from the South Carolina Gamecocks last week. Where does USC stand with this top offensive line target? Read inside to find out.

Bailey, who measures in at an imposing 6'5 and 315 pounds, broke onto the scene with a stellar junior season last year, and he feels that he improved in several areas of his game last fall.

"I feel like my junior season was a pretty big breakout season for me. I put in a lot of hard work coming into my junior season, and I feel like it paid off," said Bailey. "I think I did pretty well and a lot of my skills progressed last season. I improved my footwork, my knowledge of the game, my toughness and just being able to finish blocks."

College coaches around the country have taken notice of his ability, and Bailey now claims seven impressive scholarship offers.

"The recruiting process is going great. I have no complaints. A lot of coaches from all over the country are showing me interest. I'm just taking it all in, and I realize how blessed I am. It's a great opportunity to be recruited like this, so I'm just enjoying every moment of it," said Bailey. "So far I have scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Middle Tennessee State, Clemson, Tennessee, Miami, and South Carolina."

The latest team to jump into the mix with an offer is South Carolina, and despite not having visited USC yet, Bailey said he is already very familiar with the Gamecock program.

"South Carolina just offered me (last week). I talked to Coach Spurrier Jr., and he told me that they like a lot of the things I do," said Bailey. "I'm very familiar with the South Carolina program. I've kept a close eye on them ever since Coach Spurrier came there. They just had a real great recruiting class come in this year, and they play real hard. They do a lot of things that I like."

The athletic offensive lineman, who said he models his game after NFL standouts like Orlando Pace and Jonathan Ogden, doesn't currently claim any favorites, but he does have an idea of a timeframe for his decision.

"Right now I'm just staying as open as possible and seeing what all offers I get. I'm taking it all in, and I'll end up making a decision after my senior year of football is over."

Bailey said he plans on taking all five of his official visits in the fall, and he knows what factors he is looking for in a school.

"When I'm looking at a school, first and foremost I like to look at the academics. I'm using football as a means to get a great education, not the other way around. I'll pay close attention to the academics, and I'll try to get a feel for the college and the players. I want to see if I can see myself playing in that environment. I also want to look at the campus atmosphere to see if I could really see myself going to that school."

When asked to describe himself as a player on the football field, Bailey replied that his athleticism and non-stop effort help to set him apart.

"I would describe myself as a very hard worker. I'm going to give you everything I've got on every play. I'll do whatever it takes. I feel for an offensive lineman I'm pretty athletic, and I have good footwork. That helps me in pass protection. I feel like I do a lot of good things on the field."

Bailey closed by sharing what goals he has set for both himself and his team in the fall.

"First and foremost, I want to win a state championship. This is one of the longest periods of time in our school's history that our senior class hasn't left with a state championship, so winning that is my first goal. Then as far as personal goals, I would like to progress as much or even more than I did last year. Hopefully I'll be wearing a state championship ring and I'll be an All-American. Those are my two goals."

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com for all the latest on this top offensive line target.

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