'Alabama is my number one'

Jordan Sims has risen up the recruiting rankings while building quite the offer list over the last two months, and he took the next step in his recruitment by naming a leader on Saturday.

"I loved it, it was a really good visit," said Jordan Sims shortly after leaving Alabama's campus on Saturday. "I enjoyed it, my parents enjoyed it. It was fun. I didn't expect any less."

"I just felt comfortable there," he continued. "There was something about the atmosphere and watching the practice, meeting Coach [Mario] Cristobal and everything. It just felt good."

Sims' family, which originally rooted for the Crimson Tide as Jordan did prior to becoming an SEC prospect, is an important part of the Homewood (Ala.) standout's decision.

"My parents liked it because of the coaches and they know I would be taken care of if I chose to go there," he said. "They have success in academics, not just athletics. Academic are very important to me."

Football is vital as well, and that was the bigger focus of the day Saturday. While taking in the Tide's initial practice, the three-star offensive lineman noticed particulars about his position.

"I noticed the flexibility of the O-linemen," said Sims. "They were very nimble, they were very athletic. Cyrus Kwandijo is just a beast, he's big, lean and athletic. Leon Brown is the same way.

"I know what I have to work at to be like them, or even better."

Going into the visit, the junior was most excited to meet Alabama's new offensive line coach.

"I really enjoyed meeting coach Cristobal," he said. "I like the fact that he takes the time to get to know his players and they take the time to get to know him.

"They hang out, he does different things like fishing, paintball wars and going out to eat with them. I think that's important, to have good chemistry between the coach and the player."

Of his personality, Sims echoes what most say about the coach that brought FIU to its most prominent point.

"He's a really laid-back guy," said Sims. "But at the same time he's going to come full-throat at you. It's nothing personal, like most coaches. But I like the high intensity that he has."

While meeting his expectations and setting a precedent for future visits elsewhere, Alabama took a big step towards landing the No. 12 offensive guard in America.

"Auburn and Alabama were kind of neck-and-neck, but after today Alabama is my number one right now," he said. "Auburn is number two. Ole Miss is number three, Vanderbilt is number four and Florida is number five."

It's safe to assume the talent will play in the SEC one day.

"It's that power-football," he said. "The SEC is known for big, powerful, athletic guys at every position. It's just big-time football."

The surge from the defending champs has made a dent in Sims' commitment timetable.

"It affects it, definitely," he admitted. "I'm still going to try to take it slow...but after today I have my mind focused on where I'm going to narrow my list from.

"I'm going to take some visits as soon as I can, so a commitment can come as early as this summer of as late as after football season."

So what will it take for another program to catch up to Alabama?

Said Sims, "To be honest, I really can't tell you. I don't know how it could get better than that. Maybe how the campus looks or that home-feeling, maybe."

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