Arguably the top prospect in the state for the class of 2015, Madison Academy (Ala.) standout Kerryon Johnson had already collected offers from Florida State, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt since his dominating performance in the class 3A state title game in which he was named MVP.
The sophomore, already 6-foot, 185 pounds, shined as both an electric running back and as a ball-hawking safety that day and all season long for the Mustangs en route to the state championship.
Even with the success, he has been waiting for Alabama to join the mix for him. Johnson thought the offer may come down while at Alabama's Junior Day over the weekend, but it didn't.
However, a call from Nick Saban on Wednesday made the wait worth it.
"He (Saban) said he finally got some time to watch my film, and he saw it on Monday," said Johnson. "He said he was very impressed with me on both sides of the ball.
"Then he was like, 'I wanted you to hear it from me first, we want you to come here to play for Alabama.'"
Landing that offer was a certain weight lifted off of the 2015 prospects' shoulders.
"I was just talking about that eighth grader (Dylan Moses) that got offered, wondering when mine was going to come," he said with a laugh. "But it means they're really interested now, the hard work has paid off."
Johnson was immediately grateful that Saban personally took the time to look at Johnson further this week after sitting down with him over the weekend.
"I was just happy and thankful he wanted to watch me on film and to call me and make me an offer," he added.
As for most in the Yellowhammer State, an offer from the defending champs holds a lot of weight.
"It does, it's a powerhouse," said Johnson. "I've been there a lot, I'm used to those guys, I have relationships with those coaches, so it hits home."
Though excited and relieved, the Alabama offer doesn't quite put an end to the sophomores recruitment at such an early stage.
Said Johnson, "I have to wait it out, I still have a lot of options and a lot of time. I wouldn't mind playing for them, for sure."