COMMITTED TO THE TIDE // YULEE & COLE JAQUAN YULEE
‘The Animal’ is hyped up about Bama

Star linebacker Jaquan ‘The Animal’ Yulee surprised some by committing to Alabama recently. But the 6-1, 242-pound, 2016 prospect from Indian River HS in Chesapeake, VA says that after visiting Tuscaloosa this spring, it was an easy decision.
“I felt like it’s home when I went down there,” he says. “I felt like there was a connection with me and the players and with Coach Saban. All I needed to do was just make sure with my grandmother that she approved of my decision. She told me that if it feels like home, go for it. She said it was all up to me.”
Yulee informed his recruiter, Tide outside linebacker coach Tosh Lupoi, of his commitment prior to his announcement.
“When I told Coach Lupoi that I was ready to commit, he was all pumped up,” Yulee says. “He said that Coach Saban was pumped up about it, too. He said they can’t wait for me to get down there.
“Coach Lupoi is my main man. He’s like the big brother that I never had. I don’t know if he’s just good at his job or what, but he’s got that connection with you. He makes you feel like he really cares about you. All I know is that he gets me all hyped up.”
“They want me to play middle linebacker and they want me to dominate,” Yulee says. “They like that I’m physical and that I can move. They also like my size. Everybody’s telling me I’m already college size right now.”
While he has the size, some say he doesn’t have the speed.
“I’ve seen these reports that I ran a slow time. I was like, ‘Wow!’” Yulee says.
“I ran like a 4.7 and that was a laser time. If it would have been a handheld time, they tell me it would’ve been a 4.5.”
“These rumors that I’m slow, I couldn’t believe it, but that’s been part of my entire recruiting process. People have doubted me all along. So right now, I kind a like all these rumors. They just motivate me.
“I must be doing something right for people to be talking about me. I’m just going to keep doing the right things. I’m going to do what I do best, which is play football. We’re going to keep this thing rolling.”
Yulee says he plans to help keep the Tide rolling, too.
“It’s going to be an honor for me to play in that Alabama jersey,” he says. “I’m going to give 110% on every play and I’m coming to win a national championship.”
Yulee chose Alabama over offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, among others

RILEY COLE
Linebacker jumped at Tide offer

O
neonta linebacker Riley Cole made quite a name for himself on the camp circuit in recent months. His performance at Alabama’s camp was so impressive that it earned him an offer from Nick Saban last Thursday.
“Coach Tucker got me on the phone around 4 o’clock with Coach Saban,” the 6-3, 213-pound Cole says. “They offered me and I committed. Coach Saban said that was great. He just wanted to make sure that I was one-hundred percent sure of my decision.
“I had a feeling the offer was coming pretty soon. We had already talked with them about it. After I camped there, I knew they really liked me. They asked me to come back down this past Tuesday for a visit, which I did. So I had a feeling that the offer was coming this week.
“They said that I did everything like they wanted me to at the camp. They said I did a good job going through the drills exactly the way they wanted me to. They said that I performed exceptionally well.
Cole was the MVP of the NIKE Atlanta Opening back in the spring.
“I was really shocked when I got the MVP,” he says. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Interestingly, Cole says he didn’t grow up a fan of the Crimson Tide or any college team.
“I’ve always kept up with college football,” he says. “It’s just always been a dream of mine to play in the SEC, especially for the top program in the country.
As a junior, Cole made 148 tackles, including 23 tackles for losses. He had five sacks. He was named first team Class 4A All-State.
“They told me that they want to use me as an inside linebacker,” Cole says. “I really like Coach Smart. I like how he teaches things. We’ve built a good relationship over the past couple of weeks. I get along really well with Coach Tucker. I feel like he’s always backing me up and helping me with everything.”

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