Sean Bailey Profile: Like Father, Like Son

Enter Sean Bailey, a 6-1,175-pound, speedster from Alpharetta, Ga., and the son of former NFL wideout Stacey Bailey, who played eight seasons for the Atlanta Falcons.

Though it's escaped the notice of many, the Vols have been involved and
continue to actively pursue the big-play wideout with NFL genetics and
potential.

Bailey is currently rated the nation's No. 12 player at his position, but
don¹t be surprised to see him climb the charts in his senior season as
Milton High School opens its offense to better accommodate Bailey¹s
A-game.

Employing a wing-T offense, the Eagles finished 3-7 in 2001 and Bailey had
32 catches for 693 yards and eight touchdowns. In two games this season,
Milton is 0-2, but Bailey has caught 20 passes for 319 yards and a 67-yard
touchdown.

A marked man in a young offense, Bailey is rising above the team¹s
limitations despite facing a gauntlet of double-team coverages and
restriction of routes.

"This year we¹re starting to mix it up a little more," he said. "They move
me around a lot. I see a lot of double teams. It used to get old, but now
it¹s kind of hard for them to double team me as much with me moving around
and three other receivers to cover.

"Our line is real small and young so our quarterback has to get rid of the
ball a lot. All my routes have been like short passes with long runs
afterwards."

Given his God-given gifts and access to his father¹s expertise, Bailey is
far more ready for prime time than many of his higher-rated peers. No doubt
that makes him particularly intriguing to Tennessee, as Vol coaches are well
aware that turning outstanding athletes into topflight wideouts is a
long-term project with no guarantees.

Bailey is an advanced student in the art of route running, pass catching and
speed training. He is fearless going over the middle, a big-play threat on
short passes and a home-run threat on deep throws.

"Sean Bailey is a sensational wide receiver," said noted Insiders analysis
Max Emfinger. "In fact, he is one of the top receivers in the country. His
father, Stacey Bailey, played for the Atlanta Falcons. He has great size,
speed, and hands and he could play on either side of the football."

At the Nike Camp in Georgia, Bailey posted a 4.4-flat in the 40, although he
says he was nursing a sore hamstring at the time and routinely runs faster
times. He turned in an impressive 4.19 in the 20-yard shuttle and wowed
scouts with his easy gait and braking ability.

Those physical skills have been augmented by his father¹s expert instruction
and insightful advice.

"Actually this is the first year he¹s coached wide receivers at my school,"
Sean said of his father¹s contributions to Milton¹s football program as a
community coach. "I¹ve loved that. I think I¹ve really benefited from
it."

Though Sean was only in kindergarten when his father last played pro
football, he has watched a lot of Stacey Bailey¹s highlight tapes and he¹s
spotted many similarities between the two.

"I have some of his highlight tapes and I watched those all the time," Sean
said. "We¹re real similar. When I look at him and then look at me, I see a
lot of similarities."

Others have noted the father-son similarities as well and that in itself is
enough to justify the avid interest in Bailey. He also professes to have a
serious interest in Tennessee, although the Vols appear to have ground to
make up on Georgia, Stanford and Florida State.

"I¹m interested in Tennessee," he said. "I went up to the spring game in
Knoxville and I made an unofficial visit there this summer. I also like
Georgia, Stanford, Florida and Florida State, but I haven¹t set up any
visits yet."

Bailey¹s interest in the Vols first began during the Peyton Manning era. He
is being recruited by Steve Caldwell and indicates the proximity of
Knoxville to his home in Georgia along with the Vols need for receivers are
factors in UT¹s favor.

"I want a school that when I¹m done playing football I¹ll have a good
education and a degree where I can get a good job," he said of the criteria
he¹ll use in choosing a school. "That¹s the academic part. I know I¹ll have
to earn it but, I¹m looking at the wide receiver situation because I¹d like
to play early. Then I want to have a good feel for the head coach and the
receiver coach."

Bailey, who plans to major in business with the aim of owning his own
commercial establishment some day, has spent a lot of time in the weight
room this summer rehabilitating a shoulder he separated last season, an
injury that cost him 2 1/2 games.

Bailey is an high-B student and fully qualified. He is also the region champ
in the 100M and 200M runs. While he is accustomed to fast company, he deeply
appreciates the slower pace of family life and the company of his 8 year-old
sister.

"I love spending time with my family," he said. "My little sister is one of
my favorite people. I spend a lot of time with her."

Bailey has been offered scholarships by every school in the SEC as well as
Florida State, Virginia, Stanford, Maryland, Oregon State, Louisville and a
host of others.

Asked what he regarded as his strength on the football field, Bailey had a
simple response that sums up the widespread interest in his future.

"I'd say that I'm a big-play maker."


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