Alabama Verbal 3A Lineman of the Year

It was an exciting and disappointing Monday for three-star defensive end Alex Watkins from Brownsville-Haywood (Tenn.). The Tide verbal commitment was awarded Class 3A Lineman of the Year in Tennessee, but learned of the firing of Alabama head coach Mike Shula as well.

"I hate it," said Alex Watkins from Brownsville, (Tenn.). "I spoke to coach [Joe] Kines and coach [Sparky] Woods today. Coach Kines said defensively they are still looking to do the same thing. He said nothing is going to change with the defense."

"Coach Woods told me to just stick with it. I am still true to Alabama. I am opening up my options, but it's pretty much Alabama. It's only in case the coach doesn't like me."

Several schools are staying after Watkins if he decides to re-open his recruitment.

"Tennessee has been calling. Clemson has been calling. Ole Miss has been calling. The phone is still ringing. If I like the new coach, then I won't visit any of those schools. I will only visit Alabama," Watkins said.

The new head coach has not been named for the University the Alabama, but the Tide assistant coaches continue to recruit.

"Coach Woods told me he is coming up here to visit me Wednesday. Hopefully, I will set up my official visit that day. I hope Alabama will know who their new coach is going to be by then," Watkins said.

"I don't really know too many coaches. I was close to coach Shula. Hopefully, it will be a young coach. I hope it's a players' coach."

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