2015 Lineman has Vandy's attention

Vanderbilt is keeping a close eye on a handful of the state's rising juniors. Among them is Bailey Byrum, a stout 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive lineman out of Sweetwater, Tennessee. Last season Byrum started all ten games for the Wildcats at offensive guard with 50 pancake blocks. He's already received two D-1 offers and has caught the attention of Vanderbilt, UT, Ole Miss, and Ohio State.

"I attended a Junior Day at Vandy and a Friday Night Lights camp," Byrum told VandyMania.com. "I worked with Coach Lightner. He met with me and my parents after camp and told me that I had impressed him with my work and invited to attend some Vanderbilt home games this coming season and said he'd like to stay in touch.

"Vanderbilt is a school I think highly of, really both academically and athletically. Academics are real important to me in finding the right college. I have a 4.3 (GPA) in high school and take the academic side as seriously as the football side. I'm also looking school with a good football tradition and atmosphere. Vanderbilt has all of those things."

Byrum's early offers have come from two schools in Alabama, UAB and Jacksonville State. He was recently at UAB camp where he worked with Blazer offensive line coach, Mike Bennefield.

"They liked my length and size," Byrum said of the UAB staff. "They also said that my footwork, hand placement, and my physical play impressed them. I had already received the offer prior to camp. They saw my video and was offered based on that. I can play guard like I did last season but most colleges, like UAB, are projecting me as a tackle in college."

Byrum will be moving to offensive tackle this season at Sweetwater with a change in offense. Despite the Wildcats 4-6 record in 2013, Byrum was named first team All-Monroe County.

"Last year, we were playing well until our quarterback went down with an ACL injury," Byrum said. "I definitely think we'll have the team this year to make a good run in the playoffs."

This summer Byrum attended a Nike football Training Camp where he worked with the Buckeyes offensive line coach, Ed Warinner. He was invited back to Columbus for a Friday Night Lights camp on July 25th, but may not attend due to team scheduling.

Byrum does have SEC ties. His grandfather, David Vestal, played in the 1956 Sugar Bowl for the University of Tennessee.

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