Raine: UA 'says I'm an elite prospect'

Alabama has hosted several out-of-state visitors over the last week or so, as many take advantage of spring break, and south Florida tight end John Raine was among them over the weekend. Get inside to find out which coach called him "elite" during the visit.

At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Miami (Fla.) Westminster Christian athlete John Raine knows he has an advantage against many high school defenses, whether he's lined up as a tight end or H-back.

"I am a miss-match," he said of his game. "Smaller guys I muscle and bigger guys I'm faster than. And I play all over the field and thrive on contact."

A rising-senior prospect who recently picked up his initial scholarship offer, as Florida Atlantic jumped on board, many programs in the southeast are taking more and more notice of his potential.

Alabama lies within that group and Raine checked out Tuscaloosa for the first time on Saturday afternoon.

"The facilities were great and it's a top of the line program," he said. "(Offensive line coach and South Florida recruiter) Coach (Mario) Cristobal was the one who invited me. And I talked to (Nick) Saban for a bit, too.

"Saban just introduced himself. Cristobal said I was an elite prospect."

With a lot of positive momentum and one of college football's top assistants labeling him among the best at his position, projected as a tight end by Scout.com, Raine is trying to keep a level head throughout the early stages of the recruiting process.

"I don't get to high to low about it," he said. "Just see it as an evaluation from a coach. Of course it's a good feeling, but I just continue to get better."

The Crimson Tide values the 2016 talent as an H-back above other spots, for now, but the other part of the trip that appealed most could impact a potential position change down the line.

"They get fed after practice," he said with a laugh. "Bags of food to go home with. Protein designed for their goals. Unlimited snacks in the players lounge.

"The nutrition of the players definitely stood out."

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