Now he’s wearing his recruiting hat for UA, and a former teammate is on the list.
Class of 2017 offensive lineman Tony Gray, who picked up his Crimson Tide offer in early April, took the senior’s advice and saw Tuscaloosa for the first time of late. It came on A-Day 2015, with dozens of elite prospects on campus.
“It was great down there, they took us to the walk of fame and everything else down at the school,” he said. “It was nice at Alabama, it made me feel like I was at home.
“It was open-hearted, especially with (offensive line) coach (Mario) Cristobal. I saw his great coaching, on the field and with everything else. I spoke with a lot of people. He wanted everything to be on point. Every time you do something, he wants to make it right, even if it’s wrong. He’s the type of coach I like to be around.”
Gray was one of the few underclassmen to meet with Saban during the busy day of festivities. Albeit brief, the time with the champion coach made the rising-junior feel like the priority he’s all-of-a-sudden become for many of college football’s elite.
“I also talked to the head coach,” he said. “He was talking to me about everything, saying he wants me to come to Alabama and all that. He’s a great coach, an excellent coach. It was just great being around Nick Saban. My impression, I didn’t even think I was going to be able to talk to him.
“He’s got so much going on during A-Day, so him taking a little bit of time to talk to me was a great feeling.”
Among the other notable recollections of his initial Tuscaloosa experience, Gray made it a point to mention two staples of the UA program including what he refers to as the walk of fame.
“You get off the bus, the fans are right there, thousands of them,” he said. “They’re cheering you on the whole time, it’s just nice. It was a big experience.
“They also showed me the indoor field and how it can adjust to certain temperatures. It allows you to adjust to any weather no matter where you’re playing. So we can adjust to the weather anywhere before playing.”
Despite the trip, the latest in a busy spring and summer schedule for one of Goergia’s hottest prospects, Gray has no plans on narrowing his list of favorites or making an early commitment.