Four-star offensive tackle James Stone took an official visit to LSU over the weekend when the…
Stone's still looking at six
"I am kind of being his buffer," said Maplewood Head Coach Ralph Thompson about James Stone and all that are trying to talk with him these days. "He is a nice kid that hates to say no and he could literally be on the phone for hours every day with everyone wanting to talk to him. I am just trying to help him out." Coach Thompson has helped out his star offensive lineman in a lot of ways. From becoming a better player, to helping him get to see schools, to handling the recruiting process, to interview requests. Thompson helped him in South Bend this past weekend as Stone visited Notre Dame officially. "I went up there with him and he had a good time. I know he really liked the atmosphere on gameday and he really liked the fans there. He also was really impressed with the pregame walk where it was almost like a parade feel. The fans lined up and the players walked through them all the way to the stadium." "He talked about how beautiful the campus was and James really enjoyed the visit. He just got a feel for what it was like, he met with the academic staff to see what his class load would be like if he went there, and things like that. I know he had a good time." The Irish made a strong impression last weekend, but LSU received the first official visit from the 6-foot-5, 280 pound OL out of Nashville. He really had positive things to say about the fans in Baton Rouge upon his return as well. So two official visits are down and three remain. Two schools are in line to receive visits and Stone is debating over who will get the last one. "Auburn and Alabama will get visits from James and he is still talking about Tennessee or Stanford for the final one," said Coach Thompson. "He has not decided on that fifth one yet." Those visits will not take place until the final month of 2009 at the earliest because the four-star offensive tackle is now turning his total attention to the Maplewood run towards a state championship. "I hope we keep playing for a long time, but we have discussed this and he is not going to visit anymore schools until our season is over. I think he would like to take a visit or two in December and his final one early in January if he can work it out. I know he is not planning to take anymore during the season though." So when could he be ready to commit to a school? No real leader right now for the Tennessee high school senior, but Coach Thompson is unsure just when his prize recruit will be ready. "He is playing in the Army All-American game, so he could want to do something then if he knows, but we have not talked about that too much. We have not talked about committing on Signing Day or anything yet. We will have to see." Stone is an honor student in high school and education is important to him, but it is really not something he is looking into greatly when evaluating the schools that remain on his list. He is searching for answers on football players can give him. "He knows that he is going to get a quality education no matter where he goes, so a good education is a given for him. He is trying to talk to players one on one or a group of them without the coaches around to ask questions about the football program. He wants to know what it is really like to play football there." "I think that is what it is ultimately going to come down to for him. He wants to see what he feels is the best place for him and he is listening to everything those players are telling him." Chad Simmons is the Recruiting Manager for the South Region and he can be reached at ChadSimmons@Scout.com.
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