Will Bailey Stay Home?

It's easy to summarize Preston Bailey by just using his initials — Pulverizing Blocker, Prominent Behemoth, Phat Blaster, Path Blazer, Prized Bulldozer — but to UT he is a BP as in Big Priority.

At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, the Nashville Montgomery Bell Academy offensive lineman has D-I size to match his next level mind. Bailey boasts a 3.5 GPA at MBA and an 1180 on his SAT. Currently ranked No. 29 among the nation's crop of O-linemen by Scout.com, Bailey was selected first team 3-A All-State by both the coaches and press last season. He was voted All Mid-State by both groups as a sophomore.

An athletic big man with long arms and quick feet, Preston Bailey plays primarily at tackle but is versatile enough to play guard or center as well. He is open to filling any role his team requires.

"A lot of coaches say tackle but there's still a possibility I will play guard," he told Scout.com's Mike Bakas. "I'm not picky. I'll play wherever they need me. One thing that separates me, I think, is my coaching and preparation. I've been blessed with good coaches who prepare us very well. Plus, I consider myself a hard worker so those are two things I believe I really have going for me."

With a well established work ethic in the weight room and the classroom, it's not surprising what Bailey's criteria is for choosing a college.

"I'm looking for a good combination of football and academics," he said. "I work very hard in the classroom and that's very important to me. On the other hand, there are some excellent football programs recruiting me as well."

Among the schools that are pursuing him are South Carolina, Clemson, Miami, Alabama, Louisville, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Michigan, Miami, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Florida and Tennessee.

As late as 45 days ago it appeared the Vols were a long shot to secure the 17 year-old's services, but they have steadily gained favor and look to be a strong contender in a recruiting process that is still in the early stages.

"I'm still looking at a lot," he said. "There's Tennessee, Miami, Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan, Georgia Tech, still a lot. I took a few summer visits but I didn't take as many as I wanted. The two I took (Michigan and Georgia Tech) both went well. They both have real nice schools and programs."

Although he hasn't taken any official visits yet he plans to use his full allotment before making his decision.

"Not yet," he said. "I do plan on taking them all though. I'm still trying to narrow it down to see which five I wanna see. Those visits will be important because that's what I'll use to compare everyone."

However he does concede some schools are more likely visit venues than others.

"Being from here, I've followed Tennessee," he said. "The two Florida schools caught my eye early on. I enjoyed the two summer visits and I think Notre Dame is a real nice place.

He also took an unofficial visit to Michigan last month and plans a return trip to Ann Arbor for a game this fall. All of his early favorites have offered except for Florida and Notre Dame.

Tennessee already has a commitment from Bailey's MBA teammate Ben Bartholomew, a 6-3, 220-pound fullback rated No. 8 at his position nationally. Adding Bailey would give the Vols a potent one-two punch from a pair of Killer Bs.


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