Few were surprised to see Cullman (Ala.) three-star offensive lineman Hunter Brannon pull the trigger and commit to the Alabama Crimson Tide after a July camp performance once he earned the scholarship. It wouldn't surprise many more to see the center projection back on campus and not taking many trips elsewhere going forward.
The latest 'Bama trip was a rare first for Brannon, who was in Tuscaloosa Saturday for his initial game experience as a member of UA's 2017 class.
"It was great!" he said. "Had a really good time there, I talked to all the coaches and got invited to go to the locker room after the game and talk to all the players and coaches again. And a good talk with (Nick) Saban after the game in the recruiting room as well. He (Saban) was asking me about my momma and dad and my grandma and how they were.
"And about Friday night's game and how I did on the offensive line and how I did on the defensive line. I told him that I recovered a fumble and he was happy about it."
After the 38-10 Crimson Tide win, Brannon was able to spend time in the victorious locker room, mixing it up with future teammates.
"It was awesome, I talked with (Bradley) Bozeman and J.C. (Hassenauer) and (Jalen) Hurts and Bo (Scarbrough) in the locker room," he said. "Those guys are great guys. We talked about the game and I told Bozeman how he was throwing that noseguard around and punishing the linebackers and other defensive linemen and talking to Hurts and Bo, just congratulated them on the game."
Following another visit, the pledge remains as solid as it ever was.
"I feel more at home and better," Brannon said. "It was a great visit and I strengthened all my relationships with the coaches and players. I'm 100 percent committed."
The next step for many pledges, with their recruitment virtually over, is to further enhance the class by aiding Saban and company on the trail. He worked on fellow north Alabama native and the top defensive lineman in the state, LaBryan Ray, this time around.
"I'm trying to get Ray to commit A.S.A.P," he said. "It wasn't really a pitch, I was just being a good friend to him and tried to make him feel welcome here, really. We're okay close, I guess. I went to Alabama camps with him and just really met him Saturday.
"I think there's a good chance, he is a really great guy. Great athlete."
Brannon isn't planning on visiting other campuses any time soon. He is in the process of scheduling his Alabama official visit.null