After UA official, decision 'a lot tougher'

Alabama hosted double-digit commitments over the weekend for official visits, but Matt Elam was one of two priority targets in town for Nick Saban's program as well. In spending time with plenty of people during the busy weekend, his impending decision became that much tougher.

Matthew Elam has been down to Alabama and Kentucky for some time now, with a decision set for February 5.

The four-star Army All-American took his official visit to Kentucky the weekend before the dead period kicked in, and he was in Tuscaloosa the weekend the period was over. The 48 hours at Alabama included a stadium tour, jersey presentation, kareoke, and considerable time Sunday at Nick Saban's house.

It was the time at the coach's house that stood out most to Elam.

"Four wheeling with my boys and just building relationships with the coaches and commits," he said.

With plenty of attention from double-digit Alabama commitments taking officials at the same time, similar to his time in Lexington, the Elizabethtown (Ky.) John Hardin standout admits the final call is as tough as it's ever been.

"It's a lot tougher," he said. "A lot."

Elam fits in with both groups of class of 2014 commitments each time he's around them.

"It's weird because at UK and 'Bama, I feel like a part of both of the commit groups," he said. "It's because I've known these guys and we all want the same thing. At 'Bama, we want to win and get national championships and have fun doing it, and I feel like 'Bama gives you the best opportunity to set us up to do that.

"And at UK, we want to change the program and just turn things around there and for my home state. That's dear to my heart."

Elam was with both groups in San Antonio for the Army All-American Bowl, and his host over the weekend played in the game as well.

"Shaun Dion Hamilton was my host, he was cool, he is my bro and we were cool at the Army game," he said. "Then we chilled this weekend, he is an early enrollment, so he knows what I'm going through."

When it wasn't Hamilton, several Alabama commitments and early enrollees let the nose tackle projection know where they wanted him to play his college ball.

"Cameron Robinson, Cameron Sims, David Cornwell, J.C. Hassenauer, Christian Miller and Joshua Casher," Elam said of those in his ear. "They mostly were saying 'you fit in, why not come here?'"

As for Saban, who was all over Twitter because of Elam taking a picture in his expensive car, it wasn't just about the smooth ride from point A to B when pitching Elam.

"Very much so," he said laughing. "He was talking a lot about my opportunity there."

Over the next two-plus weeks, the nation's No. 11 defensive tackle on Scout, it's all about that final evaluation.

"I'm just going to relax and take everything in," he said. "And think long and hard about everything."

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