Top-ranked receiver talks about decision

Six senior receivers graduate this year from Alabama, so last night's commitment by Nikita Stover to the Tide was definitely big. <br><br>Rated the top wideout in the state, Stover will have a chance to play as a true freshman.

In an interview with Wednesday afternoon, Stover talked about why he chose the Tide. "Alabama is losing a lot of senior receivers," Stover said. "The door will be open for me to play."

Proximity also worked in Bama's favor. "My family and friends being able to see me play (was important)," Stover added.

A 6-1, 188-pound receiver, Nikita Stover plays for Hartselle High School in Hartselle. He's been timed at 4.45 in the 40-yard dash and is an explosive player. "I'm a playmaker and a big play guy," Stover said. "I want the ball at crucial times in the game."

A four-year starter in football, Stover also excels in basketball and track. He's been measured with a 39-inch vertical jump. Stover is the Class 5A state champion in the high jump, with a personal best of six feet, eight inches.

Among the things he liked about Alabama, Stover listed "the coaches, players, Alabama's tradition and its closeness to my home."

Stover was his region's Athlete of the Year last season, after producing 26 catches for 723 yards (27.8 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns. In addition he rushed the ball five times for 168 yards and two TDs. He also returned two kickoffs for 167 yards and a touchdown. All together, he touched the ball 34 times for 1,058 yards (31.1 average) and 13 scores.

He has a new coach this season, who likes to put the ball in the air, so Stover's numbers will likely increase.

With the recent changes at Alabama, Stover wanted to get to know new Head Coach Mike Shula before committing. "He seems like a real laid-back and nice guy," Stover said.

He's also been impressed with Charlie Harbison, who will be his position coach at receiver. "I really like him a lot," Stover said. "He's real nice, funny and a teacher."

Stover bench presses 260 pounds, squats 450 and power cleans 245. He carries a 2.3 GPA in the classroom and has scored 17 on the ACT.

Stover committed to the Tide over LSU, Michigan, South Carolina, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from

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