Alex Bars gets 'sweet' offer

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The grin stretched from ear to ear. Alex Bars now has the opportunity to play his college football at a Southeastern Conference school — Tennessee.

The Montgomery Bell (Tenn.) Academy offensive tackle earned a scholarship offer from the Volunteers at a camp for linemen last week.

"It's sweet, man," Bars told InsideTennessee. "I'm glad. I'm really thankful for that offer.

"I started out the first practice on defense and they liked how I had quick feet over there. They thought I was athletic enough to play offensive tackle and that's where they want me. I switched over the second half and played offensive tackle and they liked me."

Not many 16-year-olds are presented with an opportunity to play in the country's premier league.

"It's pretty sweet," Bars said. "I've just got to keep grinding and push myself to work harder and hopefully get better."

Tennessee isn't the only school in on him. Michigan, Penn State and Vanderbilt have shown interest as well. Plus, he has two brothers slated to suit up for Big Ten schools this season with Blake Bars being an incoming freshman at Michigan and Brad Bars enters his third year on the Penn State team.

"One brother is at Penn State. He helps me out with defensive drills and stuff," said Alex, who will be helping Blake move north on June 24. "Then, Blake, he's going to Michigan. So, he's helped me out with O-line and stuff. We go like every Saturday to the field."

Having seen the recruiting process unfold through his siblings, Alex Bars knows there is ample time to educate himself on the schools that want him on their team and he has no early favorites.

"No one specific," he said. "I'm kind of early in the process right now. It's still going pretty fast, but I'm learning what kind of school I want to go to and all this stuff. Still learning."

The 6-foot-6, 255-pounder knows he still has plenty of room to improve and more than enough snaps to get where he wants to be as merely a rising junior. He broke down his game.

"Strengths — I go hard every play as hard as I can. Never stop. Even if I hear the whistle, I just keep going. Offensively, I've got to work on keeping my base a little better," he said.

Other than picking up the grant from the Tennessee coaches, Bars said he also learned quite a bit while on The Hill.

"Where do I begin? It was a lot — how to move your hands, how to throw your hips, how to get around the guy defense-wise. Then, switching over to offense, how to keep my base, work on hand moves, work on O-line and left tackle."

Given how athletic he is, Bars could project as a defensive lineman by some coaching staffs. He'll get a look at both sides in 2012.

"A lot of colleges like me at left tackle, but I'm playing both ways this year at defensive end and offensive tackle," he said. "They say they like my size more for offensive tackle."

Leaving the gridiron only for a few special teams snaps isn't going to be easy but the Nashville native is confident he is up to the task.

"It's all right," Bars said. "I've got basketball coming up. So, basketball keeps me in shape. My conditioning is good, so all of that is going to be fine. It will be sweet."

MBA opens up its 2012 football season at home against one of the country's best, Trinity (Ky.) on Aug. 24.

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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