Amid the dozens of elites at Alabama-LSU over the weekend, one could argue Crimson Tide kicker commitment Eddy Pineiro was the most important pledge in attendance. But it was just one of four days he, his father and his nine-year-old brother spent in Tuscaloosa.
"It was great, I was able to see the dorms, a little bit more of the schools and the facilities. It was a big accomplishment, things I was unable to see at the kicking camp," he said. "It was really important because I wanted to show my dad the academic part of the school, not just always about football. They showed me how the school works, how the tutors work, etc. I wanted to take my little brother as well. It was pretty important for them to see the campus, where I'm going to be living and where I'll be for the years I'll be spending there.
"They really loved it, the facilities, the campus and when we went to see the LSU game we were surprised. We've never seen a game with so many people like that."
During the game, Pineiro had the chance to try and aid his future team.
"I got to meet a couple of really good players, Coach (Mario) Cristobal introduced me to a couple of five-stars and some committed, so future teammates," he said. "They said, 'are you Mr. 70-yarder?' That's how we created conversation. I talked to a couple of recruits, the number one tackle in the nation (Greg Little), Cristobal said he's the number one tackle and told him, 'meet the number one kicker in the nation.' I told him, 'hey man if you'd come here I'd feel more comfortable with you blocking for me!' He started laughing and stuff, he's a cool kid."
[RELATED: Listen to the full Eddy Pineiro interview]
The relationship between the December graduate and Cristobal is an admittedly important one for his commitment status to Alabama. The offensive line coach and ace recruiter resonates with the Miami (Fla.) ASA College soccer standout.
"When I first got there, he treated me and my family well," Pineiro said. "It was a great inspiration being there, me and him got a lot closer than before. I got to spend time with him, sit down in his office and just talk about life, life after football, academics. I just get a great vibe with him. He's Cuban, I'm Cuban, he's from Miami, I'm from Miami. He would talk to me in Spanish, made jokes and our relationship grew stronger."
Also improving his standing with special teams coordinator Bobby Williams and punter JK Scott during the time in Tuscaloosa, the family spent time with the head man as well.
"All the coaches are a big factor, I really love Nick Saban as well," he said. "I got to sit down and talk to him, with my family, I feel very comfortable with him as well. I felt more at home because when I first committed I was -- not iffy -- but I wasn't too comfortable. But spending four days there, waking up there, going to the school and stuff, I feel way more comfortable. I feel really good now."
The trip has all but sealed the deal for UA to hold onto its kicking commitment, who has no other trips on the docket aside from a December official visit back to Tuscaloosa.
"It changed a lot," Pineiro said. "It really helped me feel more focused on where I really want to go. I'm 100 percent committed and I can't wait until December to sign. When I get up there I'm going to be breaking some records! Roll Tide Roll!"