Alex Bars hits Big Ten schools for holiday

Alex Bars spent Thanksgiving with his family -- and perhaps his future one.

The ESPN Watch List offensive tackle from Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell Academy was in Ann Arbor for last week's holiday. He spent quality time with Michigan coaches and his brother, Blake Bars, who is a freshman offensive lineman for the Wolverines.

When asked if the trip was more about family or football, the younger Bars said, "It was for both. Great to see both the staff and my brother."

That's good for Michigan coaches, who have shown strong interest in the next Bars. During his visit, Bars said Michigan coaches complimented his latest film. The 6-foot-6, 280-pound junior has long held a scholarship offer from the Wolverines.

"Pretty much every coach," Bars said when asked which coaches he visited with during the trip. "They were just happy I could spend Thanksgiving with them."

There is certainly a familiarity with the Michigan staff. However, Bars is quick to point out that other schools have built inroads as well.

"I probably know them the best because of my brother but there are other schools that I talk to regularly," Bars said.

After leaving Ann Arbor, Bars was on his way to see another Big Ten school and another brother, Brad Bars, who is a junior defensive end at Penn State.

The youngest Bars was understandably wowed with the Nittany Lions' season. Penn State finished 8-4 despite the many well-publicized issues it faced off the field.

"Heck yeah, it was a great year," Bars said. "Coach [Bill] O'Brien did a great job this year. He got Big Ten coach of the year."

Bars is no where close to naming finalists in his recruitment. He has plenty of time for that. However, the two Big Ten schools have clearly made strong impressions.

Bars said he is unsure where he'll take his next visit. Perhaps a Christmas or New Year's Day trip is in order?