When thinking of the top football programs in the Yellowhammer State, Opelika (Ala.) High has to be up there on the list. It made it to the state title game in 2012, put in another deep run in 2013 and always seems to have SEC caliber players on the roster.
In the class of 2015, there could be four such players for the Bulldogs in Quandeski Whitlow, Jared Gentry, Roy Yancey and Drew Kyser. Each in-state SEC program is familiar with each, and Gentry and Yancey were in Tuscaloosa for the March 1 junior day.
"The coaches showed a lot of love. All the coaches," Gentry said. "Everyone had a great time, it was good."
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound defensive tackle has been to Alabama before, but this was the first impression of one of Nick Saban's newest (re) hires.
"The best part was trying on the jerseys and meeting coaches in the rooms," he said. "The defensive line coach (Bo Davis), he was saying that he always keeps in touch with his players and sees how they're doing. He never loses contact with his player when they leave college to go to the NFL or elsewhere.
"The whole process was great."
Scout.com's No. 45 defensive tackle prospect in the class has yet to snag an offer, something that stays on his mind.
"They didn't talk about offering yet, but hopefully I get an offer from them," Gentry said. "Hopefully they come (offers), I haven't heard about any yet, I'm just visiting schools."
Yancey is in a similar boat. He's a Scout three-star with considerable talent, though his first scholarship offer isn't in the books just yet. His trip to Tuscaloosa was a first impression, however.
"It was great, loved the environment up there," he said. "I enjoyed everything there. The people were nice and everything."
As for the Crimson Tide coaching staff, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound sideline-to-sideline tackling machine was asked something that previously hasn't come up during his recruitment as an outside linebacker projection.
"They were cool," Yancey said of the coaches. "They were asking me how I would like to play safety. I told them I could learn to play it."
The junior has been open about his plan to add weight in order to satisfy those curious about his ability to play at the second-level in college, so the safety question was a bit of a curveball, though he's open to plenty in seeking offer No. 1.
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