James Stone’s residence was a popular place Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive lineman from Maplewood High School in Nashville was scheduled to host Alabama’s coaches and a contingent of coaches from Tennessee, including new coach Derek Dooley and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
Maplewood coach Ralph Thompson said he thinks UT has the lead over the Tide.
“What I think is separating the two schools is the head coaches,” Thompson said. “I think that he is leaning towards UT just because of his like for Derek Dooley’s staff. In James’ eyes, Derek Dooley seems like he is more personable than coach (Nick) Saban. I think that is the difference.”
As far as the schools and the football programs, Thompson said Stone seems fond of both.
“I think that he thinks that both schools are great places, as well as play good football,” Thompson said.
UT’s school and football program, however, weren’t enough to overcome a strong dislike of former UT coach Lane Kiffin.
“Flat out, nobody liked Kiffin,” Thompson said. “I didn’t like Kiffin. James didn’t like Kiffin.”