Tide's chances for 4-star get 'boost'

Once considered a sleeper in the Midwest, the last month has become quite the platform for Derek Kief. The wideout has added big offers from Ohio State and Alabama in the span, and he took advantage of some time off school this weekend in taking in Tuscaloosa for the first time.

"It was really cool. I liked it a lot," said Derek Kief shortly after flying home from his Alabama visit. "I really like what they have to offer."

Upon the 6-foot-5, 195-pounder's initial visit to Tuscaloosa, it was the mentality that the entire program shared throughout his time on campus.

"The best part was definitely just seeing how the national champions did things," he admitted. "They definitely have the ultimate winning mentality."

Having received the offer earlier in March, Kief is still feeling the effects of what that means for his potential landing spot and with his recruitment as a whole.

"It's definitely an honor because they've been the best recently," he said. "It just shows that all hard work pays off.

"Once schools see big ‘Bama offer, it takes away any doubts they may have."

The Friday visit helped to shape some of the notions the four-star Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle already had with Nick Saban and company.

"I met with Coach Saban and Coach [Billy] Napier separately," he said. "He (Saban) had a business-like mentality and really knows what he is doing. He is pretty laid back off the field and intense on the field."

In taking in the Tide's final spring practice before going on a break, Kief yet again noticed something different about the Tide.

"How hard you have to work to be the best," he said of what he noticed most. "And [Amari] Cooper, he definitely stood out.

"I noticed that he worked really hard and won every sprint. Also, nobody could guard him."

After the practice, the class of 2014 standout was able to learn more of what Alabama wants in him.

"The coaches said they like that I'm a tall receiver with good ball skills," he said. "They also say I get in and out of my routes really well and make tough catches."

As for a sales pitch, Kief offered what several elite prospects have said about Alabama's recruiting style.

"Wasn't really a pitch," he said with a laugh. "They just let me see their championship formula."

Said formula helped Alabama's chances with Kief, despite fellow standouts like Ohio State, Kentucky and Northwestern standing out as well.

"I guess it (the visit) boosts it a little bit," he said of the Tide. "I definitely like what they have to offer.

"I will be visiting again sometime this summer."

That summer trip could play big in the race to land the wideout considering his timetable.

"I'll probably decide sometime in the summer," said Kief. "I still have to take a lot of visits, so nothing's final.

"I'm looking for the best overall fit."

Kief is currently ranked the No. 32 wide receiver nationally on FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com.


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