5-star Ben Davis takes in 'Bama barbeque

Alabama is known as a business-first program under Nick Saban but he scaled things back on Friday along with the rest of his staff while hosting top prospects for a cookout. Among them was of course the top prospect in-state, UA legacy linebacker and five-star Ben Davis, who thought the approach was a good idea.

After a week in Oregon competing at the Nike campus among the nation's best, five-star linebacker Ben Davis was somewhat unsure of his visits. At this point of the summer, he's been to many campuses, logged a lot of miles and heard similar pitches expected for the No. 15 player in America.

But there was a change of pace Friday, as the Gordo (Ala.) star was back at Alabama. Nick Saban and company held a cookout for elite prospects in the 2016 class and beyond.

"Today was kind of more of a kick-back, real fun time," he said. "We enjoyed the facilities. It was about football, but then again it was about having better relationships, meeting new people and stuff like that.

"I know a lot of the coaches, but it was a chance to meet some of the recruits. I met Trevon Diggs and Dexter Lawrence, to see how they liked Alabama. We just talked and stuff. It was a really good get together to meet some more guys, we hung out and played some video games."

The pair of out-of-state priorities, Diggs a two-way skill guy and Lawrence a five-star defensive tackle, were also competing in the Pacific Northwest last week. It was Lawrence's initial impression of Tuscaloosa all together.

"Trevon is real funny, he's got a good sense of humor," Davis said. "And big Dexter Lawrence can move a little bit, too. We were out there on the field and ran some routes. He can play a little quarterback and move for his size."

The prospects on campus weren't the only attendees a bit out of the character the top player in the Yellowhammer State is accustomed to around football facilities. Saban's staff took a bit of a load off as well.

"I can name all of them, they were all really chill, starting with coach Saban," he said. "He was chill, hanging out. Coach (Kirby) Smart was playing some bean-bag toss, coach Lane Kiffin was out there joking around and stuff like that -- it was a real fun time.

"It was a pretty big deal, invite-only with some of their top guys. But it was all laid back and just chill, I think it was the first time they had one of these. It wasn't intense like it would be in the fall. I think it's a good thing because you see how it would be on an average day if you came to that school, and how the coaches would react to you. It was a good idea."

In addition to games at the facilities, trying on some jerseys and more, food was of course a common conversation topic Friday.

"It was tight," he said with a laugh. "We had wings and ribs, I think Archibald did it. They had cookies...really good barbecue."

Davis talks recruiting at The Opening:


BamaMag Top Stories