NATHAN PICKERING//Elite DL is high on the Tide

Alabama is recruiting several of the nation’s elite defensive linemen in the 2019 class. Perhaps none is more athletic than Nathan Pickering, a 6-4, 290-pounder who does it all for Seminary, MS head coach Brian Riles.

“His future in college is on defense. Everybody knows that. But we are going to get everything we can get out of him here,” Riles says. “In our spring game, we put him at receiver and threw him a corner route for a 40-yard gain. Then we had a third-and-15 and stuck him in there to run a fade route that went for another 40-yard gain. That just goes to show you what all he can do.”

College recruiters are also sold on what Pickering can do. He has offers from coast to coast, including ones from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, FSU, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, Texas A&M and Southern Cal, among others.

“He hasn’t just come out and said these are my top five or six schools,” Riles says. “I know he has some that he likes. He’s visited some of them a few times. He’s been to LSU and to Alabama. He’s been to Mississippi State. He’s been to Florida. But he’s not really come out and narrowed it down.”

Pickering is expected to make an official visit to Southern Cal later this summer. But Riles would be surprised if he picked a school far from home.

“His mom hasn’t told me this, but knowing her, I think she’d like for him to be relatively close,” Riles says. “It makes it easier to jump in the car and go see him play. You can’t just jump in the car and go to Gainesville for a game. He has visited Florida twice and he loves it. And I’m not saying it would be too far for him. But I don’t think he would go much farther than Florida. You can go to Alabama or to LSU or Mississippi State, just as examples, without much problem. You don’t have to spend the night. You could drive back home after the game from Tuscaloosa or Baton Rouge or Starkville.”

Pickering has made several unofficial visits to Alabama over the past year or so. He is planning to be in Tuscaloosa for another visit soon.

“He came in my office this morning asking me if I’d talked to Coach Golding at Alabama, because he and his parents are supposed to visit Tuscaloosa,” Riles says. “Nathan has been over there a few times already, but his parents have not been yet. The Alabama coaches want to get them over there so that they can see it. So I’d say that Alabama is definitely still in with him.”

Pickering, an honor student, could graduate early next December, but he is planning to finish high school next May.

KANE PATTERSON

Star inside backer closing in on a decision

Nashville-Christ Presbyterian, TN 2019 four-star linebacker Kane Patterson is slowly but surely whittling down his impressive list of 30 offers. The 6-1, 220-pounder still has Alabama, Ohio State and Texas A&M on his list. He’s also considering a few other schools. Patterson plans to announce a decision in late July or early August.

“For me, I think it comes down to three things,” Patterson says. “My criteria in narrowing down my list has been about championships, education and the people. Those are the things that are most important to me.”

Alabama seems to meet all of Patterson’s criteria.

“I really think that me and Coach Golding mesh well,” Patterson says. “I think there are several aspects of Alabama football that I really like. I like a lot of the components of the program.”

As for Ohio State, Patterson says, “I really like Ohio State’s linebacker coach. I also like Coach (Urban) Meyer. I feel like I fit in their scheme, too. They have a lot of the components in their program.”

Of the Aggies, he says, “I haven’t been to Texas A&M yet, but I talk to their linebacker coach a lot. I really like him.”

As his decision nears, Patterson is making another round of visits to his favorite schools. He made his third visit to Alabama this past Saturday. He will spend tomorrow and Wednesday at Ohio State. He goes to Texas A&M on June 15-17. He’s not sure which other schools he will visit.

Patterson says that his visit to Bama on Saturday “went really well.”

“Coach (Pete) Golding was in Florida at a camp, so I got to spend a lot of time with Coach Saban, Coach Lupoi and Coach Enos,” Patterson says. “It’s always good to spend time with them. That was my third time there, so it was good to see them again.

“I’m getting close to my decision in late July or early August, so I wanted to put that out there in front of them so they would know.”

What will be the key in his decision?

“I really think it be about the position coach,” Patterson says. “It will probably come down to which position coach I mesh with the best.”

HE LIKES THE PRESSURE OF CALLING DEFENSIVE SIGNALS

In high school, Patterson plays several positions, including outside linebacker, running back and wildcat quarterback.. As a running back, Patterson rushed for 1,003 yards and 23 touchdowns last season.

Patterson says that Alabama thinks he fits best as a Mike or Will inside linebacker.

“I really like inside linebacker,” Patterson says. “I feel comfortable there. I like the pressure of calling the defense and the responsibility of knowing what all the other guys on defense are supposed to do and where they are supposed to line up.”

“I’m 220 pounds right now. The coaches think that I will play at 235 in college. I think I can do that easily.”

 

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