Alabama visit 'made it more real'

Four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam had seen Alabama on the field before Saturday, be he hadn't done so at Bryant-Denney Stadium. Couple it with the rival LSU Tigers in town, and it was an experience he won't soon forget.

Among the 120-plus elite, invite-only prospects at the Alabama - LSU game was big Matthew Elam.

Hard to miss is the 6-foot-6, 340-pound four-star defensive tackle prospect out of Elizabethtown (Ky.) John Hardin, and not a single coach or fellow recruit missed him while he was in Tuscaloosa.

It all amounted to a memorable trip to see the nation's top team.

"It was an amazing trip, I enjoyed it a lot," he said. "The best part was probably the game, but it all was good.

"The atmosphere at the game was incredible. I've never experienced nothing like that before."

Before, during and after the 38-17 win for the Crimson Tide was mingling with more than a dozen 'Bama commitments and several additional priority recruits hosted by Nick Saban's program on Saturday. Elam was a priority for them all.

"Commits, I met David [Cornwell], the QB, Cameron [Robinson], the OT and Bo [Scarbrough], the ATH," he said. "Some recruits I met were Tyler [Luatua], the TE, Damien [Mama], the OT, Charles [Mosley], the DT and Marlon [Humphrey].

"It was a lot, but I'm funny so I connect easy. That was fun."

With so much gaudy star-power on campus at one time, the entire group admittedly pondered what it would be like to all suit up in crimson.

"Every commit was recruiting me and all the recruits were like, 'just think if we all stay,'" he said laughing. "We would have a squad."

Saban's staff was no different in speaking to the No. 14 defensive tackle prospect in America's senior class.

"The coaches kept saying, 'this is the place to be, so look at the opportunities I have here. 'You're an elite player so come to an elite program,'" he said.

Despite the pitch, atmosphere and unprecedented time in Tuscaloosa, the tight recruitment of Elam remains the same, which includes his perception of the Crimson Tide.

"Not really, I know how they felt about me and that just made it more real," he said of whether or not his regard for Alabama got higher. "That they need me in their program and it feels good to be wanted."

Elam also maintains the same commitment timeline, most likely to announce at the U.S. Army All-American game on January 4, and top three of Alabama, Kentucky and Notre Dame. He has yet to take an official visit.


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