As a standout at Maplewood High School, James Stone was named the best lineman in the state.
Four years later, he has been targeted as one of the best in the country.
Now a senior at the University of Tennessee, Jones was named Tuesday to the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, which is given annually to the country’s best center. The Nashville native is the first Volunteer to be named to that list since Josh McNeil in 2008.
Stone has started 27 games the last three years, including all 12 at center in 2012. The Vols are 10-8 when Stone starts at that spot.
The 6-foot-3, 291-pounder snaps with both hands depending on what formation the quarterback is in (shotgun or under center). He helped the UT offensive line allow just eight sacks last year, fourth fewest per game (0.97) in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
At Maplewood, Stone was named the Tennessee AA Lineman of the Year. He was ranked as the fourth-best prospect in the state and seventh-best offensive guard in the country, according to Rivals.com.