Avalos gets a jump on his college career

Quarterbacks are usually referred to as field generals, but in the case of Brandon Avalos, a 6-1.5, 187-pound quarterback signee from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, "field CEO" might be more accurate.

The freshman, who is already on campus and working out, is a business major who plans on directing a diversified portfolio on the field. "According to the coaches, they signed me because I'm a dual-threat quarterback," he says. "They want somebody who can run and throw. So whenever I play, that will be my role."

Shown throwing with senior Tyler Watts, Avalos participates in voluntary one-on-one and pass-skel work in the evenings.

Avalos was a three-year starter for the Hillcrest Patriots, first earning a starting spot at wide receiver as a sophomore. That season he caught a school-record 49 passes for 705 yards and five touchdowns. Plus, he returned kickoffs for another 300 yards. As a junior he switched to quarterback and produced 1,578 yards of total offense, accounting for 15 touchdowns---eight passing and seven rushing. Avalos endured a tough senior campaign, but he still managed 1,306 yards of offense and 12 TDs.

As dangerous running the ball as passing, Rivals.com ranked him the nation's number 12 dual-threat quarterback.

With a Tide quarterback lineup that includes Tyler Watts, Brodie Croyle and Spencer Pennington, it's possible that Avalos could end up as a redshirt this year, but that's not yet a given. "It's still up in the air," he said. "The coaches haven't told me if I've been redshirted.

"If I had to guess, I'd say probably so, but anything can happen."

Like Spencer Pennington last year, Avalos plans to play baseball at Alabama as well. He starred in centerfield in high school, and his baseball skills were good enough to garner a scholarship offer from Tide Baseball Coach Jim Wells.

Though in the public eye Alabama always seems to be dogged by a quarterback "controversy," Avalos says that there's no controversy among the quarterbacks themselves. So far the experienced players are helping to school the new addition to the lineup. Avalos explained, "They've definitely taken me under their wing. Everyone's just taken me under their wing and taught me. Not just Tyler, but Brodie and Spencer have helped, too."

With fellow newcomer Derrick Pope spotting, Avalos performs a front squat in the Tide weight room.

Understanding the gap between high school competition and college, Avalos hit the weights hard on his own during the past several months. Since enrolling in school, the two-sport star lifts weights from 1 to 3 p.m. every day, and then participates in voluntary throwing practice with the other quarterbacks from 6 to 7 p.m. He's up to a 305-pound bench press and a 475-pound squat.

Unlike the Internet message board denizens and talk radio callers, the Tide team frankly doesn't have time to worry about things beyond their control. With their focus perhaps helped by the tough practice schedule, Avalos says that the players don't concern themselves with the Tide's ongoing appeal of its NCAA sanctions. Asked if the NCAA situation had any bearing on the team, his reply was a flat, "It does not."

He went on to say, "We all block it out of our minds. We're thinking positive instead of negative."

Just like any good CEO.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As is obvious from the photos in this story, Brandon is lifting weights on campus. However, he's doing so on his own. Since he's an enrolled student, he has the right to use campus facilities. But he's not allowed to be supervised by any Tide football coaches until the official reporting day for incoming freshmen.


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