The classic recruiting process is what got Keaton Anderson scholarship offers, eventually allowing him to commit to Alabama, and he’s steadied the timeline the whole way through. Now, as an in-state commitment, he’s not set to waver by any degree.
Not planning on seeing any other programs as a prospective athlete, the three-star Florence (Ala.) linebacker did make a return trip to Tuscaloosa on Saturday to see the dominant win over Texas A&M. It’s no secret that he, like most prospects in attendance, liked what he witnessed.
One could even say he expected a one-sided affair.
“You could just tell, when you went out and saw the players and the fight in their eyes that they had that ‘it’s time to get things done and put up a big win’ (look),” he said. “I wasn’t surprised really, maybe 59-0 was a little surprise, but I’m not surprised they won big. It’s extremely impressive, the way they played.”
Also of little surprise, Scout.com’s No. 13 middle linebacker projection had his eyes on Kirby Smart’s bunch from whistle to whistle.
“I watched the whole defense, and of course the linebackers,” Anderson said. “It was cool to see everybody get into the rotation. Of course Reggie (Ragland), he had a heck of a ballgame, big interception, and more big plays. And then Reuben Foster coming down on kickoff and making some huge hits, Shaun Dion (Hamilton) got to play, so it was cool seeing a true freshman in like that.
“Seeing some young guys get in, the whole defense play well, it was pretty cool.”
Perhaps unlike most of the names the senior prospect mentioned, his recruitment is a quiet one. He’s not planning to see any other schools in between now and enrolling in Tuscaloosa. In fact, there may not be a need for the staff to delegate time into courting one of its top in-state pledges any longer.
“When I go to Alabama now, it’s not for a recruiting purpose,” Anderson said. “It’s more so that I just want to go watch my future team play and see some of the guys. So when I go, I hang out with my family and catch up with my friends. I’ll go down to the field, nowhere else. I got to talk to Coach (Kevin) Steele a little bit, and we don’t talk about football much. We talk about off the field stuff and see how our families are doing. Then I go sit with my family, I don’t even sit with the recruits anymore.
“They’re not trying to persuade me anymore, there’s no need for that. So they say what’s up and then they go talk to the priorities they need to get.”
In the meantime, fellow Crimson Tide commitments made time to hang out before getting back to their own families or before turning on their recruiter senses as well.
“I talked to some of the committed guys, Mekhi (Brown), Christian (Bell), Blake (Barnett), Brandon (Kennedy), Lester (Cotton),” he said. “We all know each other personally now; we all stay in communication pretty often – once or twice a week.”
The scenario won’t duplicate on Saturday as Anderson visits Knoxville for Alabama’s next game, against a rival with family ties to the Tide pledge. While there, some of the family will wear Tennessee orange, but Anderson will go against the grain and wear crimson while viewing the game alongside the group in the stands.
Carson Anderson, Keaton’s older brother and former Volunteer offensive lineman, will not hold that against him over the next few seasons.
“The four or five years I’m at Alabama, he’s wearing Crimson, even when we play Tennessee,” he said. “Family comes first, so he’ll do it to support me.”
Anderson has no official visit to Alabama planned at this time, but will likely take the trip sometime after the 2014 season as he concentrates on trying to lead the Florence Falcons the school’s first football state championship.