4-star linebacker back from ‘Bama

Alabama has recruited very well in the state of Georgia under Nick Saban, and the Tide has plenty of targets there in the class of 2014 as well. One of its top defensive targets was on campus for most of the day Saturday, and he breaks down what sitting down with several coaches was like inside. Was it enough to get UA back near the top of his board?

Among the several visitors at Alabama on Saturday, no junior prospect is currently rated higher than four-star outside linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams. He traveled to Tuscaloosa with his mother and grandmother to take a closer look at the campus he hadn't seen since late January.

It also meant sit-downs with each coach critical in courting the 6-foot-2, 213-pounder.

"We got there, and I ended up talking to Coach [Chris] Rumph," said Allen-Williams. "My grandmother really likes coach Rumph. He was one of the first ones to recruit me, since my sophomore year really."

Then it was time to talk schematics and X's and O's with one of the top defensive coordinators in the land.

"I spent time with Coach [Kirby] Smart most of the day," he said. "He basically sat me down and told me how I would be used in his defense. He told me I remind him of (former UA standouts) Courtney Upshaw and a little bit of Dont'a Hightower of how I can play a little bit of inside ‘backer on the first two downs and on third and fourth down, passing situations, I can get on the edge and rush.

"He said that's why I'm very valuable."

Alabama has been looking for versatility in its linebackers since Nick Saban arrived in 2007, and even the head man feels that the Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove standout can be the next big thing in the front-seven.

"I also sat down with Coach [Nick] Saban, he told my mother and grandmother how much he really wants me," said Allen-Williams. "He basically told them, ‘Bryson can get on the field if he does everything right.' People always say, ‘if you go to Alabama, you're not going to play until your junior year.'

"But he said the guys that don't play are the guys that don't work hard. If you work hard, and you're better than the next man, there's no reason that you won't be on the field."

How does a teenager deal with being compared to NFL players and hearing that he has the chance to play sooner than later at the nation's premier football program?

Perspective.

"I'm not one to let things get to my head," he admitted. "It actually makes me want to work harder so I can possibly be better than those guys."

Should Allen-Williams choose eventually choose Alabama, he'll have a brand new venue to help with that hard work he envisions for himself.


The four-star tweeted out this picture while on campus.

"What stood out, and this may not be what everyone says, but the weight room stood out," he said. "That thing is a beast, it's huge. And the way it's connected to the field and workout facility, you can just start it up and go fast pace in one place.

"The weight room at Alabama is second to none."

The trip was impressive for Allen-Williams and it helped UA take a step forward, but the Tide is still chasing a conference-mate for the top spot on his list.

"Right now, Alabama and Georgia are basically sitting at that number two spot," he explained. "I'm a loyalty guy, South Carolina was my second offer. I just feel like the relationship I have with Coach [Deke] Adams, Coach [Lorenzo] Ward and Coach [Kirk] Botkin, that's why they're in the top spot. Coach [Steve] Spurrier has turned that program around.

"They can turn the page in 2014 and possibly win a national championship. It's about developing good relationships."

As for when Allen-Williams' list will be most important, at decision time, he's unsure of what time of the year that will take place.

"I don't know, it's getting crazy now," he admitted. "There's a lot of thinking, I've said August, and then I was going to early-enroll. But I really don't know, I'm going to take it day by day.

"I don't want to rush into anything."

Allen-Williams, who is currently ranked the No. 9 outside linebacker nationally in the class of 2014, will likely visit Tennessee on March 23 and see UCLA and USC while taking a spring break trip to California.


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