In-state QB ‘blown away’ at ‘Bama

Prior to last week, class of 2017 Brantley (Ala.) quarterback Jacob Free was unfamiliar with being a recruit on a big college campus, but he caught up in a 48-hour span with trips to Tallahassee and Tuscaloosa. Free said he was “blown away” at Alabama Friday.

In search of his initial scholarship offer, Jacob Free had a busy 48 hours on the road, with a pair of impressive stops along the way.

The class of 2017 Brantley (Ala.) quarterback, one of the state’s best regardless of classification, saw Florida State on Thursday and followed it up with a trip to Alabama on Friday.

“Alabama was a bit more organized than Florida State was,” he said. “When I got there, the girl showed us around and gave us some more information. Their facilities, in my opinion, were a lot nicer. They gave me free reign to see whatever I wanted to see.

“I went to the training room, saw the locker rooms, player’s lounge, coaches lounge, stadium, recruiting room, just everything. It was really good.”

Perhaps the most informative time during Free’s day in Tuscaloosa came with the smallest amount of people in the room. He was able to see offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Lane Kiffin in action with the current Crimson Tide.

“I got to sit in on the offensive meetings with coach Kiffin, who talked about practice and how it was going to be run that day,” he said. “Then I got to sit in on the quarterback meeting with coach Kiffin and all the quarterbacks. He talked about the calls, signals and what they should be doing. We watched a little film, and he broke down what they were and weren’t doing right, stuff like that. It wans’t confusing at all, I thought it would be kind of hard, but it’s simple if you pay attention to it. The way they broke it down was self-explanatory, you’d catch on real quick.”

Whether it was rising-senior and expected starter Jacob Coker or freshman five-star Blake Barnett, who has only been on campus since January, each player competing for the top job made it a point to introduce himself to a potential position-mate should the rising-junior end up at Alabama for good.

“Every single quarterback came in and shook my hand and told me who they were,” Free said. “So I didn’t feel out of place at all.

“Alabama was amazing, unlike anything that I’ve ever seen. It blew me away! It was nice.”

With plans to return to town in order to throw for Kiffin and head coach Nick Saban at camp this summer, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are also on the docket. But before a trip to local Troy in the coming weeks, Free will see Auburn.

The in-state pair, as well as the Rebels, have long been high on Free’s list of desired destinations.

“Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss, those are the three that I’ve always liked and dreamed about playing for as a kid,” he said. “I’ve got divorced parents, so one side of my family is Alabama. Then the other side is die-hard Auburn, so either way they’ll both be fine with it, they just want to see me play.”


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