Although he has been visited by coaches from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee the past few weeks, offensive tackle Andrew Jelks of Henry County said nothing compared to the recent appearance made by Vanderbilt's James Franklin, who arrived at one of Jelks' games by helicopter.
"I was in the lockerroom for halftime, and when we came out we saw the big old helicopter over there on the soccer field," Jelks said. "There was a buzz going through the stadium. It was pretty sweet. That was big for me, that he would take the time to come watch me play."
Vanderbilt is one of four teams currently in contention for the 6-feet-6, 260-pounder. Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee are the others. Stanford, which Jelks made an official visit to earlier this fall, no longer is in the mix.
Jelks has not yet arranged his remaining officials. He had hoped to make an unofficial to Tuscaloosa this weekend to see the Tide play host to LSU, but won't be able to make it.
Jelks claims to have no leader. However, he said Alabama, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are recruiting him the hardest.
"[Tennessee coach Derek Dooley] is saying I'm one of their top guys on the offensive line," Jelks said. "He calls me every week along with (two Vols assistants). I talk to all three every week. They've really been expressing that they really need me and want me. With Alabama, I probably talk to Coach [Nick] Saban every two weeks. He says the same thing - they need tackles. I also talk to Coach Franklin a lot. He says they're trying to build something special and wants me to be a part of it."
Mississippi State also is in the picture. Jelks attended a recent Bulldogs game and offensive line coach John Hevesy saw him play the same night Franklin did.
Additionally, Auburn apparently is trying to get involved. According to Jelks, Tigers offensive line coach Jeff Grimes stopped by his school Monday.
"That was the first time I've come into contact with them," Jelks said. "It's kind of late. I don't really know what's going to fall into place. I liked him. We had a good conversation. He said they need tackles."
On the field, Jelks and his teammates are having a big season. Henry County is 10-0 and entering the state playoffs this week. Jelks has been a large part of that success.
"The coaches are very pleased with my season," Jelks said. "They say I've exceeded their expectations."