Lovejoy (Ga.) High School had its way with Jonesboro (Ga.) Mundy’s Mill to kick off the 2014 season on Friday night, but the casual observer wouldn’t have thought Alabama commitment Montrell Custis did much for the Wildcats’ win.
The statsheet, as he made a few tackles, would tend to agree. But the four-star safety prospect on Scout.com wasn’t surprised. He even somewhat expects it because of his status in the area.
“With great DBs, you have to maintain your focus,” he said after seeing limited pass attempts in his direction. “Even though they weren’t throwing my side, I tried to make smart plays. It was an overall great day for the team.
“I think it will be a theme, but hopefully I’ll maintain my focus and keep my composure. Because when they do (throw it), I’ll make something happen.”
While Custis, once ranked as a cornerback by Scout, can dabble on the outside and often does in practice -- don’t expect him to move much in 2014.
“Our best defensive backs will play free safety and lock down the whole field,” he said. “If I’m at corner, it’s just one side of the field, so I’ll be at safety.”
Part of the senior’s continued plan to work on both comes from the Crimson Tide coaching staff, and it helps when the No. 1 wide receiver in the country is on the same roster. Cracking jokes on each other after the big win, Custis and Preston Williams have fought to make each other better during each week.
“We have a great bond, we go against each other in one-on-ones, team, blocking drills, everything,” Custis said. “He’s a great receiver; he’s one of the top receivers I’ve ever seen. Going against him every day gives me a little edge when I play everyone else.”
"When you go in, 'Roll Tide,' and you’ve got to keep on rolling Tide.” - Custis on what it means to be 'Bama ready.
Williams remains a firm commitment to Tennessee, but it's a status his teammate and fellow Alabama commitments have tried to change. The group became much closer when 10 current commitments competed together at The Opening in July.
“We are all friends, and have a great bond,” he said. “We had to add Blake Barnett, who is one of the funniest guys. We knew he was going to commit, so we had to make him happy and we all changed our Twitter handles to Blake Barnett.
“I talk to the coaches all the time, too. Kirby (Smart), (Nick) Saban, Lance Thompson. They just tell me to keep playing the way I’m playing, get bigger, faster and stronger, and be ‘Bama ready. When you go in, Roll Tide, and you’ve got to keep on rolling Tide.”
Custis and several commitments’ Friday celebration spilled over into a Saturday look at their future teammates against West Virginia at the Georgia Dome.
“The game was live! Dallas (Warmack), Mekhi (Brown) and (Christian) Bell were there,” he said. “It was nothing but Roll Tide love.”
Cusits, who Scout tabs as the No. 24 safety in America, was surprised by the offensive stars UA showcased to open the season and knows his position-mates will build on their first impression.
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