August 4, 2007

Top Tennessee linemen square off, talk schools

Every year at the beginning of two-a-days practice in middle Tennessee, Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale faces Montgomery Bell Academy in a preseason scrimmage. The annual meeting pits one of the top public school programs in the state (Riverdale) against one of the top private school programs in the state (Montgomery Bell). This season the matchup also featured two heavily-recruited offensive line prospects playing across from each other.

Between offensive guard David Spurlock of Riverdale and offensive tackle Preston Bailey of MBA, there were plenty of scholarship offers out on the offensive line in Nashville on Friday. The two linemen each boast numerous offers around the SEC and the country. Spurlock recently picked up an offer from Louisville bringing his total list of offers to seven.

"Louisville just recently offered me," said the three-star guard. "Right now I've got offers from Louisville, Tennessee, Alabama, Ole Miss, Vandy, MTSU and NC State."

Spurlock who claims to have no favorites at this point in his recruitment camped at Alabama, Tennessee and Florida this summer and insists that he won't make his college decision until after the season when he makes all of his official visits.

While MBA's Bailey hasn't had the opportunity to see many schools this summer, he has no intention of drawing the recruiting process out until signing day.

"As busy as we are working out [at Montgomery Bell] this summer, I haven't had the chance to get to see too many schools," said the 6-foot-5, 315-pound tackle who has a long list of offers from everyone from Michigan to Miami. "I'll probably try to take an official visit on our bye week during the season and then knock out my other visits as soon as possible so that I can make a decision.

"I did get to visit Michigan and Georgia Tech so those are two good schools that I got a good look at but I don't want to name any favorites until I get a chance to go on my official visits."

Like his Riverdale counterpart, Bailey's recruitment is wide open but the four-star prospect does have two schools he is hoping to hear from.

"I'm hoping to get an offer from Notre Dame and Florida," he said. "Florida just says that they're waiting for me to come down to visit to give me the offer but they call a lot and I'm anxious for them to offer me."

Bailey's scrimmage on Friday was cut short due to a knee injury but the massive offensive lineman claimed that it wouldn't keep him out for long.

"It's just a sprain so I'll be good to go by the first game," he said. "Overall I think this was a good day. It's good for us to get out here against a good team and see where we are."

Spurlock agreed.

"We enjoy getting out here and playing these guys because it's a good measuring stick for us," said the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder. "Hopefully we can continue to improve and get that state title."

On the field, while Bailey was limited with his injury, Spurlock was able to showcase his athleticism in his coach's wing-T offense. Due to the high number of plays that get the guard moving and pulling, the Spurlock showed good feet and a strong ability to finish blocks in space as well as the strength to get good initial push.

Spurlock is rated by Rivals.com as the No. 7 overall prospect in Tennessee and the No. 19 offensive guard in the country. Bailey is rated by Rivals.com as the state's No. 4 overall prospect and the No. 25 offensive tackle in the country.


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