January 5, 2009
Elite TN lineman picks up ND offer
Under Charlie Weis, Notre Dame has been consistently pulling some of the top players in Tennessee up to South Bend with players like Golden Tate, Harrison Smith and Alex Bullard all buying into Weis' Irish revival. It looks like Weis will continue to mine the Volunteer State in 2010 as James Stone out of Nashville (Tenn.) Maplewood picked up an official Notre Dame offer on Monday.
"Coach Ianello came by to talk to my coaches and when he left they came and gave me an offer letter," Stone said on Monday. "That's a real big school and I always thought about going to Notre Dame and that scholarship puts them in my mind."
Stone could be the top prospect in the state of Tennessee for the 2010 class but he is also an academic minded prospect, making the Notre Dame offer all the more appealing.
"They've got a strong academic program and I've seen them recently and they've improved," he said. "Theyr'e just a good team."
Already holding offers from programs like Alabama, Tennessee, Stanford, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and others, Stone will have loads of college options and Notre Dame joins Vanderbilt and Alabama as his early favorites.
"I still like Alabama and Vanderbilt is starting to look better to me and Notre Dame sticks out too," he said.
Stone built a great relationship with Alabama offensive line coach Joe Pendry while camping in Tuscaloosa this summer and has since had a high interest in the Crimson Tide. Vanderbilt is a program whose stock is on the rise in Stone's eyes.
"I like it down there (at Vanderbilt) too because they're straight to the point," he said. "They told me, Coach Caldwell, I talked to him when I was down there at the game and he's a real good guy and they let you know that if you come down there to play football you gotta do both (football and academics) and I like that."
Stone currently is playing basketball and hopes to attend several camps in the offseason as he continues to work on his strength at offensive tackle.
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