John Stokes update

One-star linebacker John Stokes (6-5, 225, 4.7) from Memphis University (Tenn.) finished his junior season with 80 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three fumbles recovered. Stokes is considering several schools including Vanderbilt.

"I'm pretty big and have long arms," Stokes said. "I move pretty well for my size and have good straight ahead speed. I'm strong, tall and just make plays on defense. I think most schools like how versatile I am. I'm still trying to improve. I want to be a better overall athlete and get stronger. I'm also working on rushing the passer and my man coverage skills."

Stokes benches 250 pounds and squats 315. He has a 30-inch vertical jump.

He says he has 10 scholarship offers and denies a leader. Some of the schools Stokes likes are Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Alabama, Stanford, Wake Forrest and Auburn. He also has offers from Michigan, Mississippi, Memphis and Arkansas.

"My first scholarship offer came from Vanderbilt back in March," Stokes said. "Both of my parents went there, but I never really had a favorite school growing up. My parents aren't pushing a specific school either. Vanderbilt is about three hours away, but I don't think that will matter. I think it does make it harder to go far away from home, but playing football keeps you very busy, so even if I stayed close it's not like I'd be able to come home all the time."

The Commodores are about three hours from Stokes' house, while the Vols are about twice as far. "Tennessee has a huge football program and operation," Stokes said. "They have great support and sell out every game. Plus, they compete for the SEC championship every year and that's arguably the best conference.

"Alabama is actually very similar to Tennessee," Stokes said. "They both have great tradition and take football very seriously. I went to the Alabama "A" game, which was a spring game and they had about 50,000 people show up. That was amazing."

The only camp that Stokes attended was a seven-on-seven at Mississippi, but he also visited Stanford unofficially. "That was my first time in California," Stokes said. "They made a good impression. The people were really nice and the area was beautiful. Plus, it has a great academic reputation.

"I want a combo of athletics and academics," Stokes said. "I want coaches that help the players improve and I'd like to play as soon as possible. I'd love to be part of a competitive program that I feel is gonna win."

He reports a stellar 4.5 GPA (on a 4-scale with Advanced Placement classes) and a 2230 SAT (new test) and 29 ACT.

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