Two-way Canton (N.C.) Pisgah star Michael Parrott wasn't very known in the fall within the college football recruiting community but his junior tape and a preferred walk-on offer from the Alabama Crimson Tide changed that in February.
The rising-senior accepted it and has since seen his stock rise. But he remains set on playing at Alabama, which hosted him for the first time Saturday as it held its initial spring football scrimmage.
"There for a while, at the beginning the offense ran the show but the defense got heated up and ended up with two or three interceptions by the time it was over," he said. "As far as coaching, both sides were high intensity the whole time. It seemed like a fun atmosphere to play in."
Parrott was sure to point out that football was only part of the trip.
"It was great, I got down there thinking there was a misconception on how people at Alabama are always focused on football or athletics and they're not really focused on getting their kids to the next level and the job force," he said. "That's really not true, when you go to the student academic resources there's tutors all day long, in any subject you need. Coach (Nick) Saban goes as far as having a mock interview room so you can practice for that.
"So it's not only the phenomenal athletic facilities I anticipated seeing, it was everything I expected and more, but it's not one-dimensional like people think. It meets all the needs you can need."
The coaches who evaluated him as a fullback and invited him to walk-on in Tuscaloosa met Parrott and his parents for the first time, too.
"I got to meet coach (Burton) Burns and coach (Tosh) Lupoi, the one who initially recruited me," he said. "I also go to speak briefly with coach Saban. Me and my parents were very satisfied, we even got our own personal tour guide, it was an overall great visit. It exceeded everywhere else I've been.
"Coach Burns told me that I obviously have been working out and he told me to keep that up because Alabama's fourth quarter program is grueling. And that we would stay in contact. He's a really good guy. The first thing we noticed going into his office is that he's obviously a big Christian guy, he had all of these Bible verses written on his board, which we liked. That's reassuring to know, a guy whose not only an excellent football coach but he's going to lead you in the right direction in life."
Burns, Alabama's running back coach, could be paramount in the rising-senior's development on the field. It's something he keyed in on during the visit.
"I tried to focus on their blocking schemes when the fullback was in and the percentage of time they had a fullback on the field versus when they were in a spread," Parrott said. "I also like to watch how the coaches act to see what I'm going to have to deal with every day. They players were out there having a good time no matter how hard they worked, you could tell it was something they like doing.
"Having a fullback and not running one was pretty evenly distributed, there wasn't one out there all the time but I'd definitely see the field."
Many college programs now have Parrott on their 2017 recruiting board, including Vanderbilt, Kentucky, NC State and a traditional scholarship offer from Illinois State has even come in, but he reports solidity with his Alabama decision.