“It’s been a pretty good day,” Jack West said on Tuesday.
The calculated quarterback, just a rising-sophomore at Saraland (Ala.) High, may have issued an understatement just moments after learning of his new verbal scholarship offer from the University of Alabama.
“Coach (Nick) Saban, every time you get to talk to the man, it’s amazing, it really is,” he said. “He’s probably one of the most powerful people in Alabama, but one of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet. He’s very serious about what he does, and it shows with how much they win.
“All he really told me, and he kept repeating, was, ‘be yourself.’ He said to be in the moment and not look too far behind and don’t look too far ahead. ‘You can only control what you are doing now.’ Then he said I have the opportunity to come play at Alabama.”
West camped at Alabama on Tuesday and was watched closely by Saban and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, among others. Having added offers from UCLA, Ole Miss, Kentucky and others of late, some expected the day’s news.
Not the performer, though.
“The expectation for me was to go and get better,” West said. “Every place I go, that’s really what it is, and to develop my relationship with the guys there. That makes all the difference. I wouldn’t say I expected the offer, but getting it made it a little sweeter.
“Dream come true, it really was. I’m not going to lie, you guys know I’ve been an Alabama fan my whole life. Every time you walk into that place it’s like a different world, seeing the practice facility, the weight room, the indoor…everything. Getting a chance to maybe be there one day is pretty special.”
Re-emphasizing his youth and how much time lies in between now and national signing day for his 2018 classmates, West doesn’t talk favorites or timelines. But the work put in with some of the SEC’s top coaches on hand was validated.
“I was in coach Kiffin’s group all day,” he said. “We started out with drills, quarterback drills, then we threw routes on air and then one-on-ones before seven-on-seven. He was coaching me up, and I was trying to learn and ask as many questions as I can because you don’t get the opportunity to talk to a guy like that, who has coached at the pro and college level. It was an opportunity to learn from one of the best coaches in college football.
“It was about learning and getting better.”
With plans to visit Ole Miss this week before a Pac-12 swing of Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA later this month. Each stop only helps the often-communicated goal of perhaps the Yellowhammer State’s top quarterback prospect.
“I still have three more years, I want to get to work on that. It’s time to bring a state title to Saraland,” West said.