Four-star Saraland (Ala.) quarterback Jack West is arguably the top player in the state of Alabama in the class of 2018 and he's a national prospect with offers from coast to coast. But the in-state Alabama Crimson Tide is who he is most familiar with and he was back on campus Saturday as Nick Saban and company held its first spring football scrimmage.
"I like to see how they approach what they do. It's such up-tempo, so much focus on doing the little things right, that's what I took away from it," he said. "How they do things, how fast they get into their drills and team sets, I was impressed with it."
When it came to his position, the talent around it with the defending national champions stands out as the program looks for its next signal-caller.
"The ability to not have as much pressure on you as much as people think at the position," West said. "Alabama's defense is known for what they do, it's so good. And their ability to run the football is the best around, as y'all saw with Derrick Henry last year, he won the Heisman. So I think it's the ability to take pressure off of the quarterbacks but at the same time allow them to make decisions to put the offense in the best possible place.
"I think all of them did well, the offense did great. Cooper Bateman has been there four years now and he looked like he really was leading the unit out there. David Cornwell throws a really great ball, he's a guy that in my opinion can make all the throws on the field. I think both of them have a great chance at winning the job. I also think Blake Barnett had a good day, he throws the ball very well also. I got to meet Jalen Hurts for the first time and he's a cool guy, able to stretch the field with his legs, which was cool to see."
West was able to hear more about what he could do off the field from the head coach.
"I got to speak with coach Saban for a little while, it's always good," he said. "It's really just a cool thing to speak to coach Saban and take away one or two things you can apply to your own life. But we really talked about the education side of things this time and what Alabama would have for me off the field, including the honors college, and we caught up from the past month. It was natural conversation, it was cool."
With his potential position coach and offensive coordinator, it was more about observation. It included sitting in on a Lane Kiffin-led meeting before the scrimmage.
"He's the same guy always," West said. "He is a guy that pushes his players hard and he's a guy that knows a lot about the game of football. As many saw he's taken a different quarterback in each year and this year will be the same situation. But he's done really well with them, like he did with Blake Sims and Jacob Coker, he's a really, really good coach in my opinion."
While Alabama remains a standout option for the young four-star arm, fresh off of his first year as the Saraland Spartans' starting signal-caller, the recruiting process is one he will take at a slower pace.
"Everybody knows I've been an Alabama fan all my life and I'm really close to A.J. (McCarron) and Jacob (Coker) and all those guys and I love Alabama, Alabama is a great place," he said. "But I don't have a list, I don't have any leaders, I'm going to just take it all in and soak it all in."
West plans on getting to Michigan, which represents his latest scholarship offer, for the first time fairly soon. Return trips to Alabama and Stanford are set for June, after Saraland completes its spring football season.null