Commodores Pursuing Jones

Offensive lineman Barrett Jones is one of the top prospects in Tennessee's Class of 2008 and the Vanderbilt coaching staff has made him a top priority.

The 6-5, 270 pound rising senior from Evangelical Christian School in Cordova, TN runs the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds and benches nearly 350 pounds. He holds offers from the likes of Vanderbilt, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Tennessee, Stanford and North Carolina, among others.

Jones has taken trips to Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Florida, Ole Miss and Alabama this summer, and he spoke with VandyMania about the recruiting process to this point.

"I have over 20 offers. Harvard, Stanford, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are probably recruiting me the hardest right now.

"I am trying to keep an open mind as I visit schools this summer and fall."

If Vanderbilt could pick up a verbal from Jones it would be a major recruiting haul. How seriously is he considering the Commodores?

"I visited Vanderbilt during their camp," explained Jones. "My brother, Harrison, attended the camp and I watched and visited with the coaches. I spent about 4 hours the day before with Coach Johnson, Coach Belin and Coach Caldwell. They gave me a tour of the campus and talked to me about how they think I am a perfect fit for what they are looking for at Vanderbilt.

"I loved the campus. I love Nashville and I think it is great how you are right in the middle of downtown with so many restaurants around. The coaches were all great. I met some players in the weight room and at the camp. I enjoyed talking to them."

While he won't list any favorites yet, the trip to Vanderbilt obviously left a good impression. Several things may be working in their favor.

"I really like the strong academic reputation of Vanderbilt. I like Nashville a lot. I love the coaches. I like that it is in the SEC. The campus is great with all the trees."

Each school that has offered Jones is recruiting him as an offensive tackle, though the Vanderbilt coaches have told him that he could play on offense or at defensive end. He's not against the idea, but is convinced he will end up at tackle.

Coach Belin has been responsible for recruiting Jones, and he said the two have developed a strong relationship. A four-star prospect and the No. 26 offensive tackle in the nation according to Scout.com, Jones initially considered making an early decision. He has since backed off that and might wait a while.

"I thought I would make a decision before the season starts but now that it is getting closer to that time, I know I won't be able to. It is really hard because there are so many great choices. When I know where I should go, I will commit so that other schools can spend their time recruiting other players.

"I don't want to waste their time. I am trying to narrow it down to 5 or 6 schools so that in the fall I can try to visit those schools again."


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