NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Alex Bars is used to quick-footed defensive ends coming off the edge. It's the whole recruiting process that's tough to handle.
“It's going pretty fast,” the junior offensive tackle from Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy said.
That was the case this week when Bars suddenly picked up a scholarship offer from Indiana. He also has scholarship offers from Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Despite being a bit taken aback by the speed of the recruiting process, Bars isn't standing pat. The 2014 prospect has already visited Michigan and Tennessee. He'll visit Notre Dame this weekend to see the Fighting Irish host the Wolverines. He said he'll also visit Alabama, Ohio State and Vanderbilt this fall.
The Wolverines have a certain appeal. Bars' brother, Blake Bars, is a freshman offensive lineman for Michigan.
“Michigan is awesome, a lot of fans,” the younger Bars said. “Their fan support is really good. Their coaching staff is doing a great job up there.”
Alex Bars said academics will play a major role in his decision, but he's also intent on finding a vibrant, successful football program. That would seem to help the Wolverines, who can offer both.
“It's pretty solid,” Bars said of the combination of academics and athletics. “My brother was talking to me about it. He's taking four pretty hard classes. It's a good mix.”
Bars said it's hard to say any school is standing out at this point. However, it's reasonable to think he'll take a look at Penn State, despite the sanctions there. Bars has another brother, Brad Bars, who is a junior defensive end for the Nittany Lions. Yet Alex Bars doesn't expect either brother to play a major role in his decision.
“They're letting it be my own choice...It's my own personal decision,” Bars said.
Two in-state schools are also vying for Bars' services: Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The Volunteers got a visit from Bars for the Florida game last week.
“It was exciting,” Bars said. “They had a ton of fans there. Great first half. They lost a few big plays in the second half or it would have probably been a different game.”
Vanderbilt can certainly offer academics. It also has an improving program. Lastly, it is less than 10 miles from Montgomery Bell. Bars has already been impressed by Vandy's recruiters.
“Probably their realness,” Bars said when asked what he like about the Commodores. “They don't (try to fool) you.”