Alabama flips special teams player

The University of Alabama has picked up a commitment from the West Coast. The former UCLA commitment was given a one week deadline to decide to play for the Crimson Tide.

Cole Mazza, long snapper from Liberty High School in Bakersfield, Calif., will play college football for the University of Alabama. Mazza camped in Tuscaloosa this summer with a limited time to decide if he would flip his commitment from the Bruins. Mazza was impressed enough with his time at Alabama this summer and two previous trips last fall for a couple of SEC games.

"I feel like this is a one time opportunity I wouldn't get back to play for Nick Saban," said Mazza. "I can be a part of a national championship team and one of the best programs in the nation. Hopefully I can help the team win another championship.

"I felt like Alabama was a great fit for me. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to get out of California and play for a championship caliber program. I can be around a lot of great people and a great community."

Mazza spoke to Alabama head coach Nick Saban Thursday morning to inform him of the decision. He also spoke with the UCLA coaching staff.

"I called coach Saban this morning around 8:30 (PST)," he said. "I just told him I am going to accept the offer. I told him I wanted to be a part of the Crimson Tide.

"He was pretty excited. He doesn't have to go after anyone else. He said we are going to have a great few years. I am going to work as hard as I can and help the team as much as I can. I want to help the team win national championships. He is going to help me out to be the best I can be. Alabama will give me great academics, great athletics and great community.

"I called the UCLA coaching staff before I talked to coach Saban to let them know I was picking Alabama. They weren't the happiest people in the world. They don't think I made the right decision."

The top long snapper knows he made the right decision. His parents also support his commitment.

"My family supports me 100-percent," Mazza said. "They told me the decision was up to me. They love I made my decision to be a part of the Alabama Crimson Tide when I graduate."

Mazza will graduate from Liberty High School next spring.

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