MARKAVIEST BRYANT Georgia prospect calls Bama offer special

Markaviest Bryant is one of the hottest 2017 prospects in the Southeast. Over the last two months, the 6-5, 230-pound linebacker/defensive end from Crisp County HS in Cordele, GA has landed almost 25 offers. Recently, Bryant was in Tuscaloosa where he got good news about an Alabama offer from Nick Saban.
“It was very exciting for me,” says Bryant, who was in town for Bama’s Junior Day. “I was actually on a tour on the other side of the campus when they called me out to go see Coach Saban.
“It surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to get to personally talk to Coach Saban in his office. I figured the offer was coming. I just didn’t know when. Coach Saban said they want me. That was really exciting. I mean, it’s Bama. Come on, that’s special.
“My high school coach was with me. He was like, ‘Roll Tide’, after the visit. It was definitely one of the best visits I’ve been on so far. I’m going back to Bama soon.”
As a junior, Bryant had 73 tackles, seven sacks and two forced fumbles.
“Coach Saban told me I’d probably be a Jack linebacker in their defense,” Bryant says. “I’m a Bandit in the defense we play at my school. It’s not exactly the same as a Jack, but it’s similar. It wouldn’t be hard to adjust.”
“Coach Saban said that he likes my size and my explosiveness. He likes that I can play in space and how I get after the quarterback.”
Bryant now has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and USC, among others.
“I’m probably not going to commit until signing day,” Bryant says. “Recruiting has just started taking off for me. I want to take a lot of visits and figure out where I want to be. I’m not in a rush.”
Bryant says Alabama is one of the schools he’ll heavily consider.
“Oh yeah, Bama’s one team that will always be there,” Bryant says. “I’m leaving everything open, but Bama will be one of the top schools for me.”

Mississippi star has great experience in Tuscaloosa

Early indications are that only a few prospects in Mississippi are high on the Tide’s 2017 radar. One of the state’s top prospects is Grenada safety C.J. Avery. The 6-0, 199-pound Avery was in Tuscaloosa recently for the Tide’s Junior Day.
“It went really great,” Avery says. “I got a chance to meet Coach Pruitt, the new defensive coordinator, and the new defensive backs coach, Coach Ansley. They’re both really good guys. They made me feel wanted. That was good. We talked about their defensive schemes. I liked what they were saying. I think I could fit into what they do on defense as a safety.
“I also talked to Coach Saban a little while. He didn’t have a lot of time, because so many prospects were there, but he spent some time with me. He said that they really want me at Bama. He talked with my dad some, too. Coach Ansley talked with my dad almost the whole day. My dad really appreciated that. They made us feel wanted.”
Avery also spoke with Tide defensive back Tony Brown.
“He told me that if you come to Bama, you’d better be ready to compete,” Avery says. “He said it’s the best of the best. Everybody is competitive. He said it doesn’t matter if you’re first, second or third on the depth chart, everybody is good. He said you’d better be ready, because if you slack off, you’ll get left behind. I like that. I know if I went to Bama, I’d be with the best.”
Of the schools that have offered him, Avery says Alabama, Cal, Mississippi State and Ole Miss have caught his attention.
“I’m going to keep all of my options open,” Avery says. “I’m going to keep taking visits and let things play out. I’ve been to Ole Miss and Mississippi State several times and I’m going back to Bama this summer for camp. Coach Saban said that he’s really excited about having a chance to work with me at camp. Other than that, I’m just going to see how it goes.”

2017 Tide legacy talks Junior Day

The Tide’s second Junior Day of the year featured a bevy of top prospects. One of the players who spent the day in Tuscaloosa was Justin Thomas, a 6-5, 258-pound defensive end from Spanish Fort, Alabama. Thomas has offers from Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others.
“Everything went great,” Thomas says. “They showed us around the campus. At the end of the day, we talked one-on-one with Coach Saban. I liked talking to all of the coaches and the tour they took us on.”
“Coach Saban came off as a cool guy,” Thomas says. “We talked about how they would use me as a player. He likes me at the five-technique. He likes the way I play. He likes my athleticism. And he just thinks I’m a great athlete and I can fit into his program. We talked about goals for next year. He told me about all of the benefits of the program and life after football. It was a lot of stuff.”
Thomas’ father is former UA lineman Atlas Herrion, so it’s no surprise that Thomas has good things to say about the Tide.
“I feel like it’s a great school,” he says. “It’s not just the program, but also how much they care about the players. They have tutors and they have players take speech classes. They make sure the players’ academics are where they are supposed to be. They make sure you work hard.”

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