Lead Strengthened

Several prospects have Alabama atop their lists in recruiting once the Crimson Tide offer, but one four-star's A-Day experience pushed UA's lead further in the right direction and it could have an effect on his decision timetable.

When taking in a game, most prospects elect to keep an eye on a position they may be playing at the next level, but it's not always the case.

Sometimes, looking at the opposing position helps to take mental reps for a projected position.

Like for Stephen Roberts, a four-star defensive back who was eyeing wide receivers all day Saturday while in town for Alabama's A-Day.

"It was good, I really liked the energy and how good they played," said the Opelika (Ala.) standout. "I had my eyes on [Amari] Cooper. I was looking at how he does against some of the defensive backs.

"I was watching how they were sticking him and how they played him on some routes."

If he were to defend the talented rising sophomore, Roberts said he would try to use the technique he has the most success with against Cooper.

"A press man-to-man, because if you give him space he will run right by you," he added.

The junior prospect enjoyed the game, but it was his talks with Nick Saban and Kirby Smart that really impressed him to the point that Alabama's lead for his services is more firm than ever.

"He (Saban) was saying I was a great player and talking about how he wants me to come to 'Bama and stuff like that," said Roberts. "They showed me a lot of love up there, too."

It made quite the impression.

"I thought about committing," he added with a laugh.

It's safe to say Alabama's "slight" lead has grown.

"It has, it's a big lead, but not too big," said Roberts. "It's because of the relationship I have with the coaches."

Smart echoed a lot of what Saban said, but added in the big question. The result was possibly the movement of the in-state prospect's decision timetable, which was originally in the early summer.

"He said he wants me to commit," said Roberts. "I may make a decision before the summer."

When asked what it would take for another program to make up ground on Alabama's lead, the No. 32 cornerback prospect nationally was quick to answer.

"A lot," he said.


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