BAMA RECRUITING UPDATE Bama rolls out crimson carpet for ‘The Hulk’

Kendell Jones’ official visit to Tuscaloosa not only sealed the deal for the mammoth 6-5, 370-pound defensive lineman from Shoemaker HS in Killeen, Texas, but it also made a lasting impression on his father, Kendell Jones, Sr.
“Ah man, it was fantastic,” Jones Sr. told Tider Insider. “They rolled out the red carpet — or the crimson carpet, I guess. It’s really hard to compare it to anything else.
“It exceeded our expectations to be honest with you. Kendell has been to Alabama before, but this was my first time. It was special. It was really special coming for an official visit.
“For me, the highlight of the visit was last night going to the stadium. It’s a big stadium. We got to tour the locker room. They had the national championship trophy out and we got to see it up close and take some pictures with it. We had a good time with that. He got to put on an Alabama jersey.”
As with all of the prospects who make official visits, the Jones family had an opportunity to spend time with the Tide coaching staff, including Nick Saban.
“That was another one of the highlights,” Jones, Sr. says. “Of course they talked with him about the future. He knows he’s got to get in shape. They told him to do that and to be ready to come in ready to play next season. They’re going to need him to be ready.”
Jones was hosted by freshman defensive lineman O.J. Smith.
“All of the prospects visiting hung out together almost the whole time,” Jones Sr. says. “They all seemed to be having a good time. I think all of them were very receptive to the visit. Everybody was having fun.”
For Jones, all that’s left now is national signing day on February 3rd.
“No more visits for us,” Jones Sr. says. “We’re done.”


FSU commit says Alabama
is amazing

Amir Rasul didn’t necessarily grow up a fan of the Crimson Tide. But he admits that he’s always been very fond of the Tide’s running back tradition. In fact, Rasul can rattle off the names of every Alabama running back from Mark Ingram to current freshmen Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris without missing a beat.
“I just named eleven of them,” says the 5-11½, 205-pound standout from Coral Gables, FL. “I watched every single one of them. I watched their highlight tapes and I was like, ‘Wow!’
“The thing that stood out to me the most about those guys was that the ones who stayed in the process, every single one of them are now prospering in life and in the world of football. That really got my attention.”
Rasul was among several prospects who made official visits to Alabama recently. It was his first time in Tuscaloosa.
“My visit was amazing,” Rasul says. “The University of Alabama is an amazing place. Coach Saban has done a great job with the football program, and the campus is beautiful.”
A key part in Rasul’s visit was the opportunity to sit down in individual meetings with Coach Saban and running backs coach Burton Burns.
“Coach Saban was amazing,” Rasul says. “There was no pressure. He didn’t try to get me to commit or anything like that. He just talked with me about their program and how I’d fit in.
“He said that I’m a very good running back and that I’m also a great receiver. He said they could use me in the slot as a receiver. He said that I’ve got a great burst and that I can break the long run.”
“Coach Burns was also amazing,” Rasul says. “He said basically the same things Coach Saban said. It was my first time to sit down with him one-on-one. It was probably one of the best conversations I’ve ever had. Everything he and Coach Saban said was hitting me. It all made sense. I could relate to everything and I retained everything they said.
“It was just a great opportunity to hear Coach Burns tell me I was a top priority for them.”
For now, Rasul remains committed to FSU. He plans to make an official visit to Tallahassee the weekend before signing day.
“Yes, I’m keeping Alabama under consideration ,” he says. “I’m going to make a final decision on signing day.”


Texas star recaps official visit

His official visit to Alabama wasn’t Jared Mayden’s first visit to Tuscaloosa. The 6-0, 202-pound standout from Sachse, Texas made a trip to UA two years ago as a sophomore. But this trip was a little different.
“There were some new things I didn’t see the last time I was there,” Mayden says. “I got to see all the facilities and everything they have to offer. It was all nice. The visit was good.”
Mayden met with Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt.
“They’re both pretty cool,” Mayden says. “I’ve known Coach Pruitt since he was at Georgia. He recruited me when he was there. I’ve always liked him. But it wasn’t like I was meeting someone new. I already had a pretty good idea what he was like.
“We just talked about how they’d use me. They think I could come in and compete at corner and at the star position.”
Mayden was hosted by Tide defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Marlon Humphrey.
“That was good to be around them,” Mayden says. “We just hung out and talked about what it’s like to play at Alabama. They said it’s hard work and those kind of things.
“Minkah told me what it was like to be a freshman. He talked about how he approached it when he came in this year. Marlon got redshirted his freshman year, so he was a redshirt freshman this past year. He told me what it was like to be redshirted. It was good to get an idea of what that would be like if I got redshirted.”
Mayden has now made official visits to Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Oregon. His final visit will be to Oklahoma. Mayden’s parents attended Oklahoma. His father played basketball for the Sooners.
“I like OU and Coach Stoops,” Mayden says. “My parents having gone there, I know a lot about the program. It’s a good program, but I’m not going there just because my parents went there. Yes, that helps. But I’ve got to make the best decision for myself.”
Where does the Tide stand?
“It’s kind of hard to say right now,” Mayden says. “I haven’t visited Oklahoma yet. I want to take that visit before I start thinking about where things are. I probably won’t know until signing day.”

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