Bailey's goal to help Vols to national title



Most Tennessee fans believe the Vols are overdue for a championship.

Preston Bailey does, too.

Bailey, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive lineman from Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, signed a national letter of intent to play football at UT in February.

Bailey said one of his goals is to help bring a national championship to UT, which hasn’t won a conference or national title since the 1998 season.

Bailey, who plans to enroll at UT for the second session of summer school on July 7, talks about his goals at UT and preparing for his college career in this Q&A.

Q: What was your most memorable moment from your official visit to Tennessee?

A: I would say my most memorable moment was actually the dinner the first night we were there. They brought the recruits that Friday night to Ruth’s Chris (Steak House). I had always heard a lot about it. Some of my friends had been there before and my parents had actually gone without me. That was my first time going there. I just enjoyed it. That was some of the best steak I’ve had in my life. It’s nice. The official visit lets you know when you’re recruited and you’re going to play college football, that they want you. They’re spending money on you and catering to your needs if you want. It’s nice to have someone cater to you every now and then.

Q: What was your least favorite part about recruiting?

A: My least favorite part would probably be all the mail. It started to get ridiculous. It’d be like an average of five to 15 letters a day. It just piled up. I was excited at the beginning. Then I started running out of places to put it. I ended up throwing a bunch of letters in the trash. Even after I committed there was still letters and letters. It just got annoying.

Q: Was there a part of the recruiting process you did enjoy?

A: Getting a chance to talk to different coaches to their faces or over phone. If you get recruited at the Division 1 level, you get to sit down and talk to some of the most intelligent minds in the country. You get to see what their coaching is about and you can see what they’re like personally versus on TV. It’s a very gratifying experience.

Q: Who has made the most significant influence on your football career?

A: I would probably say my mother. She’s been there since I was the age of four up until now. She was at every game I was going to play starting in little league. She’s always been there for me my entire life. My entire life she’s supported me in whatever I wanted to do, whether it was football or something else. She’s always been there for me.

Q: When did you know you would have a future in football?

A: It kind of came to me early in life. It had always been a dream of mine since I was four or five, since I’ve played the sport. It started to sink in late in middle school or early in high school. I had these God-given talents that I’ve been blessed with. I just kept at it and worked hard. It’s gotten me to this point. I’m very thankful for it.

Q: What is your favorite part about playing football?

A: My favorite part is how football or just sports has the ability to take you from your normal, everyday life and into an entirely different world. If there’s anything bad that happened that day it can be completely erased. You get away from everyday life and just step on the field and put your heart and soul into it. You can have fun and enjoy something. It helps a lot. I know a lot of people, including myself, see football when you’re going to practice or a game as a stress reliever. You might leave practice feeling a lot better about the situation than before.

Q: What will it mean to you to play for UT, the school from your home state?

A: That means a lot. It was one of the biggest important factors when I was deciding to go to Tennessee. You see a lot of guys have a chance to play ball at other big time schools. They can go to Michigan, Florida, and USC. I like that I get to represent my home state. Tennessee is where I’m from. I’ll always be proud of that and represent that. Getting to put on that orange jersey and run through the “T” is just icing on the cake. It was a no brainer to me to be able to represent my home state.

Q: What will be the biggest adjustment to the college game?

A: The biggest adjustment is going to be going to play Division 1 football, specifically in the SEC. It’ll be getting used to the speed. I’ll go from being one of biggest guys on the field to one of the average-sized guys. I’ll have to get used to the size and speed. It’s almost the same adjustment going from middle school to high school or little league to middle school. It’s the speed factor.

Q: What are some of your goals at UT?

A: First and foremost my main goal is to get an education and continue my hard work and put it into the classroom. Second, I want to bring a national championship to my home state. It’s been a while since we got one. It’s been 10 years. We’re past due for another one. I’ll just focus on being the best athlete possible and best football player I can be every single day. The rest will take care of itself.

Q: Do you have a favorite athlete?

A: The guy I’ve always admired is Muhammad Ali. His energy and tenacity and love for the sport he played just showed me how to really be a true athlete. You have to go hard at all times and give all you’ve got. He showed you can attain strong character at the same time. I’ve always admired him.

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Comments » 190

Silent_Fulmer writes:

Just wait until Fulmer gets a hold of this young man and lets him know you only have to win your division and lose to backup QB's in SECCG's to maintain program goals.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

"To bring a Natl Championship to UT".

I certainly like the ring to that, young man. He's thinking straight.

Welcome and congrats.

hmhawk writes:

COOL!!!!!GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Yeah, hopefully he tells Foolmore that we haven't won squat since 1998.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Ruth's Chris? Didn't know you could find a similar meal like that on UT's campus. Hope no rules were broken:

The new rules prohibit the use of charter flights or private planes on recruiting trips, and require schools to use standard vehicles to transport prospects from airports and offer "standard meals similar to those offered on campus." In the past, some schools picked up recruits in limousines and fed them lavish meals.

IBleedOrange444 writes:


You're not going to snitch on us are you?

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Maybe I'll write a letter. Also, maybe I'll just be a secret witness just like Foolmore. Ironic that Foolmore never went face to face or like a man with the people (Alabama and its band of cheaters) that he had a problem with.

cjraney writes:

Workin, do you mean ironic like when you were face to face with Fulmer and didn't tell him your problems with the program?

mikes70gto writes:

Heck...SHUT UP !!!!!!!!

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

ironic as in people want to hold me to the face to face standard when Foolmore our fearless leader decided to be secret witness instead of how was it termed, "handling it like a man"? LOL!!!!!!

drone#208075 writes:

Workin must really be from Slapout Alabama.

volsfaninkpt writes:

workin, don't even watch any of the games this year since it sounds like you already know what's gonna go down. i'd appreciate it bud.

murrayvol writes:

It's good to have you with us Mr. Bailey. May there be many pancakes in your future.

Try to forgive all the incessant growling and complaining that dominates this site. The vast majority of these idiots are dyed-in-the-wool Volunteer Faithful who would lay down in front of an 18 wheeler for dear old Tennessee.

On some days (okay most days) we just disagree. But that's human nature.

juicetke#226846 writes:

I like these articles. They are interesting and fun to read. It kind of surprises me that it is done by the News Sentinel.

ncvol writes:

Once again we are getting away from the article.
I hope that Bailey does help us win a national Championship. Wouldn't that be nice vol fans?

BigOrangeJeff writes:

WhackinItLikeHeck, how in the world would you fault Coach Fulmer for his role in the Alabama investigation? It sounds like your beef is with the fact that he was a "secret" witness.

How do you know the NCAA didn't ask him to testify in secret? Or that the FBI didn't ask him to testify in secret? Or that the UTAD didn't make that a requirement in order for Coach to testify?

That's right, I forgot... you're psychotic... er, I mean, psychic.


invisiblekid writes:

Last year's class may not have been highly rated, but this seems to be a good group of kids across the board. Bailey and Wilks both seem to have their heads on straight and are displaying the right attitudes.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Don't believe he is a "secret" to the Bama faithful anymore. He'd finished 5th in a 3 man race in Crimson Tide country. Mention his name in Tuscaloosa, whew.

He probably doesn't have a condo in Gulf Shores.

Come and have fun, young man.

wyomingvol writes:

Uhh, I am a UT fan and I hope we do well next year. Glad to have some guys on board with goals and good heads on the shoulders.

This was a nice and positive article... Some people should take example from it.

Go Vols...

,, some of the fans I could do without.

Smallmike4pres writes:

Why is it that all of you Al idiots never take into account that there was like 8 other SEC coaches that turned in you cheaters. Are you just bitter that Phil beat your a$% for so many years straight?

burntorangeVOLffle writes:

WhinningLikeHeck wakes up in the morning and immediatly micturates in his own cheerios.

I like this kid's attitude. He's pretty big. Maybe he is willing to play DT if needed.

philfan writes:

Preston Bailey sounds like an intelligent fellow with both feet on the ground. It is nice to hear about players who really believe that Tennessee is fully capable of winning another national championship. As for WorkinLike Heck and his ilk, perhaps this will explain things a little:

"I sho hates Fulmer. That's all I talks about cuz that's all I knows. I wish they would throw more of them screen door passes more often. Them is fun to watch." (WorkinLike Heck, personal communication, 2007)

DennisVols writes:

" Tennessee is where I’m from. I’ll always be proud of that and represent that."
This one statement says it all. Proud, unlike those who can find fault in anything to include the "98 National Championship team.
Yes I want more SEC titles, N.C., BCS bowls. So does this kid. Changes have been made so history is just that HISTORY. We have all seen, repeated again and again, the stats, records both for and against this team and it's coaching staff over the past decade. If you spend your life looking backward you're bound to have an accident. Looking forward there is plenty to be excited about. If you don't believe that no one is requiring you to stay a fan.
Go Vols!!!!

Silent_Fulmer writes:

LMAO!!!!!! Hey FOOLMORE looks like ESPN already has your Ruths Chris story!

slambob2#228938 writes:

What's the deal with the dark, bitter folks who come to these boards to tear people down? If that's all your life amounts to, it's really an ugly existence.

Serving other people is a good place to start to find self-worth and compassion.

auttat writes:

Wow!! That is definitely not the smallmike I know of.

txvolsfan writes:

Amen slambob2, It's these alabubba fans coming on our site, the only time they are not on the site is the first of the month when they go get their welfare checks. I have a job and barely have time to get on here myself, would not ever waste my time on an alabubba site but that's just me.

gohawks1 writes:

Huh? His mother has been there since the age of four.....

Wouldn't she have been there at birth, too?

All kidding aside, this guy sounds like a real winner. He already refers to the team as "we" and he hasn't even enrolled yet. We need more young men like this one. He's all Vol! Welcome aboard, Preston!

tigervol9802 writes:

Optimism....I like that.

Ruth Chris? Ouch, bet the local folks from Calhoun's aren't happy with that decision.

Almost forgot.......

D-tackles? Anybody?

jasvol writes:

wkb12: Warren's in! Can he play DT?

firefightervol writes:

I really feal like this class is going to be alot better than people think. GO VOLS !!!!

tigervol9802 writes:

He's in, he ain't on the team yet.

firefightervol writes:

Sorry "feel" is what I ment.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Hey Hamilton, I am glad that we are in a busget crunch and we the donors are paying for Foolmore to bring in the 35th ranked recruiting class to eat at Ruth's Chris. LOL!!!!!!

VOLS85 writes:

Is there an article that cannot revolve around fulmer? I hate the people on this site that cannot escape the fact that this is about UT football and not Fulmer. This is about YOUR university, and do not give us this $hit that "as long as fulmer is at the helm then I am going to talk massive amounts of trash". GET A HOBBY...find doesn't matter to me...I know that Bin Laden has done far worse than fulmer, but I promise that you hate on fulmer more than you have ever hated on that murderer. You people are disgusting, get a life.

There is a life out there for you, I promise. FIND IT.

FLAVOLS writes:

workinlikeheck works a little too hard to be negative in an otherwise VERY positive article about an outstanding young man. I sincerely hope that this young man and others like him don't pay much attention to the comments section and idiots like this that take every spare moment to criticize the head coach. You really need to get a life or maybe you also have been workinlikeheck, as Fulmer would say, and don't know that there are more important things to pay attention to than being such a smarta**. If you can't afford to be a donor then stop contributing and I'm sure UT will survive. Or maybe, being a donor is just an excuse for a miserable person to be critical of everything the university does.
Have a nice day!

volfan73120#211815 writes:

I agree with vols85.

utmichael20#546617 writes:

"Q: What will it mean to you to play for UT, the school from your home state?

A: That means a lot. It was one of the biggest important factors when I was deciding to go to Tennessee. You see a lot of guys have a chance to play ball at other big time schools. They can go to Michigan, Florida, and USC. I like that I get to represent my home state. Tennessee is where I’m from. I’ll always be proud of that and represent that. Getting to put on that orange jersey and run through the “T” is just icing on the cake. It was a no brainer to me to be able to represent my home state."

I like this guy. We need more in-state players like him.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

sjt18 3:48 am , attacking the messengers, I see, instead of the message. 3:22am - "stupid, stupidity". Didn't expect that out of you.

Has all this fun and games gotten to you?

Be well.

mikes70gto writes:

Could it be true VOL fans that some players are coming into the fold due to the fact we now have new blood in our coaching ranks?? Part of it Im sure,but mostly due to the fact the UT is a god place to play football and get a degree !! Prime example Warren and Morley.

mikes70gto writes:

"good place"

DavidPollacksNeckBrace writes:

Gibbs serves steak in their cafe so I guess Ruth's Chris is comparable to Gibbs.

Volgrad777 writes:

There is no other coach in the SEC that would have had the balls to come out and publicly accuse a school of cheating. It just wouldnt happen. I dont particullarly love Fulmer but i think he did what he should have done. Now , on the other hand , welcome home Mr. Bailey

Vol13 writes:

"Could it be true VOL fans that some players are coming into the fold due to the fact we now have new blood in our coaching ranks?? Part of it Im sure,but mostly due to the fact the UT is a god place to play football and get a degree !! Prime example Warren and Morley."

Probably not since Bailey committed before the 2007 season kicked off. Morley would have had to sit out a year if he had gone elsewhere, so it made sense for him to come back to UT if he wanted to play at this level. Warren will likely have to pay his own way this year (wink, wink!) because FSU won't grant him his release.

But it sounded good and was positive.

99gator writes:

i know spurrier also reported on dubose. people just considered it sour grapes because bama beat florida twice in 1999. but, fulmer wasn't the only one who could smell the stench from tuscaloosa.

bama cheated for years. the ncaa has several "bear bryant" rules. for proof, look at the number of bryant's assistants who became coaches who had run ins with the ncaa....ex. charlie pell, jackie sherill, etc.

volfan#207874 writes:

If I read the third sentence correctly, is this dude only going to play football in the month of February?

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

55VOL, wrong again. I'm not from Baton Rouge. LOL!!!!!!!!

Vol13 writes:


You are correct. Sorry about that.

Silent_Fulmer writes:

Good to see the budget crunch hasn't hurt Fulmer's eating at the nicest restuarants in town! On second thought I think I will make a donation just to put more prime steak in Fulmers belly!

VolGraduate writes:

I think there's a limit on the amount of $ you can spend on a recruits dinner or on the visit similar to bowl game allowances for the players. Fulmer used to get Calhoun's to cater steaks for all the visits in Neyland stadium but that was stopped due to a catering contract with Tennessee Grill. I guess now it's on to Ruth's Chris to avoid catering contracts

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