The Alabama Crimson Tide worked out Blinn College (Brenham, Texas) defensive back Jhavonte Dean twice this summer before Nick Saban gave him the news of a scholarship offer. Shortly thereafter, the Miami native knew he would pledge to the national champions, but another step was needed before he would feel comfortable enough to do it.
"First off, I wanted my family there because I had already visited and knew how it was," he said. "So my thing was getting my family there. My family loved it, they actually really loved Alabama, they loved everything about it. When it was time to make a decision, I asked them how they feel and they we're feeling good.
"So I told them I was going to commit while everything was hot and on the table, so I went ahead and committed."
With family in town centered around Alabama's Champions Cookout Friday, the decision came through a day later. But in between visits, it was the consistency the Crimson Tide staff showed that sealed the deal for the commitment.
"I went to that camp, when I got there in June on the unofficial visit, it was the environment," Dean said. "They haven't stopped recruiting me since I got that offer, that was big, it played a big role."
Saban had arguably the top junior college defensive back in his office and got the news he may have expected. The coach detailed the on-field plan once a transfer from Blinn College was complete.
"At the end, I just remember him having a smile on his face," he said. " From then, I knew everything was right. He was pretty straight forward about everything, he told me the ins and outs, plus he told me he was going to be the DB coach. That was actually really important because of the success he's had with the DBs the last couple of years at 'Bama. Seeing him do what he do, there's no doubt that in my mind I can't do the same thing.
"He told me that Minkah Fitzpatrick, the upcoming sophomore this season, he was kind of playing outside last year but he's a better nickel guy and they're looking for someone to come in and take the outside corner spot. That's basically what they want me to do, he sees me as a corner."
Open to potentially take trips elsewhere going forward, there is still a sense of completion coming from the one-time Cincinnati signee who will have three seasons to play two at the next level.
"It's basically a lot of relief for me because coming out of high school I didn't have stuff like that," Dean said. "So for me to come out and grind here, it really is just a big ole' sigh (of relief), because I put the hard work in. It's not over yet but it's another step forward towards my process being done.