JARED MAYDEN A perfect fit for Tide’s secondary

Jared Mayden made the trek from Sachse, Texas to Tuscaloosa for the recent A-Day Game. The Tide’s incoming freshman cornerback wasn’t expecting what he saw.

“Their DBs, they’re really physical. That got my attention,” says the 6-0, 202-pound Mayden. “I wasn’t really expecting that. You don’t see DBs that physical at many other places. But Alabama’s DBs aren’t afraid to come up and hit.”

In high school, Mayden was known for his physical, aggressive style.

“What Alabama does, it fits what I do best,” Mayden says. “I like to come up and hit. That’s what it takes.”

Mayden was rated among the nation’s elite cornerbacks in the 2016 class. He originally committed to Oregon before reconsidering.

“Coach Pruitt had recruited me for Georgia,” Mayden says. “I wasn’t very interested in Georgia, but I did like Coach Pruitt, so when I changed my mind and started looking around again, I saw that Coach Pruitt was at Alabama. That’s what really made me interested in Alabama.

“They have a great program and everything, but I’d have to say the main thing that convinced me to go to Alabama was Coach Pruitt. He’s just a really cool guy. He’s really cool with his players. He’s not one of those guys who tells you what you want to hear and then changes once he gets you. He’s just really cool.”

Mayden has an excellent combination of size, speed and strength. He’s versatile enough to play every position in the Tide’s secondary.

“The first thing they want is for me to learn corner,” Mayden says. “After that, I’ll learn Star and maybe safety. They think I could play in their Money package, too. I’ll do whatever it takes to get on the field. I don’t care where they put me. I just want to get on the field.”

Even though Alabama already has one of the nation’s most talented secondary corps, Mayden might find a role next season.

“Coach Saban told me on Saturday that he’s moving things around trying to find the right guys,” Mayden says. “He said he would like to keep Minkah (Fitzpatrick) in the slot at Star if he can find another corner. If not, he said he’d play Minkah at corner. He said there’s an opportunity there at corner.”

Mayden also spent time with two of his fellow freshmen from Texas, quarterback Jalen Hurts and offensive guard Chris Owens. Hurts and Owens enrolled in January and participated in spring practice.

“I hung with them after the game,” Mayden says. “Jalen was really happy with how the game went. He felt good about how he’s done so far.”

Mayden says that his A-Day experience was good overall.

“It was cool,” Mayden says. “The main reason for going was to see what I needed to do to get ready. I sat in on meetings and learned about techniques. I saw how physical they play. So I feel like I learned some things.”

 

TERRELL HALL

Counting down to Bama

 

Terrell Hall is counting down the days until he reports to Tuscaloosa.

“Thirty-four days and I can’t wait,” says the Tide’s incoming freshman linebacker from Washington DC-St. John’s. “Every time I visit Alabama, I never want to go home.”

Hall didn’t make it to A-Day, but he did spend a week in Tuscaloosa in March.

“I spent my spring break down there with the team,” the 6-4, 250-pound Hall says. “I got to watch three practices and spend time with the coaches. I worked out, watched film and really got into the playbook. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to go down there, was to learn the playbook. I learned a lot. It was very helpful.”

The Tide returns two outstanding senior outside linebackers in Ryan Anderson and Tim Williams. Two very promising young players on the outside are sophomore Christian Miller and redshirt freshman Anfernee Jennings, who might end up at defensive end.

“With Tim and Ryan coming back, I don’t have to come in with the pressure of making a big impact immediately,” Hall says. “I can come in and learn and develop my freshman season and be ready to compete for a starting position as a sophomore.”

Even though Hall doesn’t expect to start as a freshman, he’s preparing to play next season.

“That’s the big thing Coach Saban talks to me about all the time,” Hall says. “He stresses that I need to stay in the playbook and learn the responsibilities of the Jack and the Sam. They want me to learn as much as I can before I get there. That will give me a better opportunity to play and give them some depth next season.

“I’m not taking the attitude that I’m just a freshman and that I’ve got time. I’m preparing to play now.”

Some compare Hall to current Alabama star Jonathan Allen. Like Hall, Allen was signed as a Jack linebacker but gained weight and became a defensive end. Some think Hall might eventually do the same.

“I’ve heard that comparison from a lot of people,” Hall says. “I think part of it is because we are from the same area. But I’m also about the same size he was when he signed with Alabama. I could end up at defensive end, like he did. It all depends on how much I grow.

“I’m kind of big for an outside linebacker. But I’ve got the athletic ability to play in space. I think I’ll stay at linebacker, but that could change. It doesn’t matter. Either position is fine with me.”

Hall was recruited by Tide assistant Tosh Lupoi, who coaches the outside linebackers.

“At first, I was committed to Ohio State,” Hall says. “Coach Tosh kept recruiting me. He wanted me to come down to visit. When I visited Alabama, I said, ‘Man, this is too good to be true.’ I couldn’t believe how much I loved it and how much I liked Coach Tosh. But I wanted to be careful. I didn’t want to rush into a decision. I wanted to make sure that the trust was there.”

“I love Coach Tosh. He’s already like an uncle to me,” Hall says. “I was the only guy he recruited in this class. He always tells me that I’m his guy and that he’s going to be there for me. He’s always been honest with me. Everything he told me would happen is happening so far.

“I have a really cool relationship with Coach a Tosh and with Coach Saban.”

Hall will arrive in Tuscaloosa for summer school and workouts on May 28.

“Man, I’m so excited,” he says. “I can’t wait.

 

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