Coach Spotlight: Altee Tenpenny
"He told me he was going to do a lot of praying," Bolding responded when asked if he knew Altee Tenpenny was close to making a decision. "He told me he was going to write a lot of things down on paper, positives and negatives.
"I think he was ready to nail something down. I felt like he was fairly close to making a decision. I was not surprised to see him commit today. He along with his mom and dad made the decision."
Alabama offered Tenpenny during the summer, and head coach Nick Saban was in North Little Rock not that long ago to check in on one of the best athletes at his position.
"Coach Saban came here a few weeks ago with coach Groh," Bolding said. "Coach Groh did a really good job recruiting Altee. I was really impressed with him. I told coach Saban how great of a job coach Groh did.
"I think with Alabama's prestige, what they have been able to accomplish recently, and the fact they are a running-type team were some of the big factors for Altee. Their running backs are the go-to guy in the offense. They have had a string of great running backs in the last few years."
Tenpenny broke his ankle during first game of the regular season. Coach Bolding has seen a lot of improvement.
"He is great right now," he said. "He is about 90-percent. On Tuesday we did pro-agility and L-drills. We also had some sleds with 450-pounds on them he was pushing. He was having to dig with his toes and feet. He looked like he did before the injury. I think within the month he will be fully recovered."
Dwight Ross, who worked with Tenpenny during Christmas break, believes the elite prospect has a bright future.
"He had good linear movement," Ross said. "His lateral movement was a little hard. He tries to go 2000 mph. He cuts at full stride, so he needs to stay on course with rehab to be Tenpenny. He can go from 100 to zero in a snap, but not right now.
"He was looking good," Ross continued. "He looked like a kid who kind of tweaked his ankle. It didn't look like anything that's going to last."
Bolding has high praise for Tenpenny's skills on the field.
"I think his biggest strength is his strength," he said. "He cleaned 315-pounds as a sophomore. He is really strong in the lower body. He has great vision and hits the hole quick. When people hit him they slide off. I think it has a lot to do with the power in his legs.
"He probably is what Trent Richardson was like in high school. He ran a 4.42 40 [yard dash] at The Opening in Oregon. He's an exciting kid. One of his biggest strengths is his leadership. He is a vocal kid with his teammates. He doesn't cross the line though.
"He has a great personality. He makes you laugh. He is always smiling. His mom and dad did an outstanding job with him. He has a great background and great base. It's going to help him propel at the next level."
Bolding knows there's always room for improvement.
"I think he needs to work on his hands," he said. "He knows that. He has been doing that quite a bit. They are not terrible, and he has gotten a lot better.
"He needs to continue to put some weight on. He wants to maintain the speed, but gradually put the weight on. He can easily hold 220-pounds. He has a great frame. They measured him in Orlando. He is closer to 6-0, 202-pounds. He is on a muscle milk diet. We are trying to get him to 215-pounds before the season."
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