Tide Linebacker Commitment Updates his Status

Alabama verbal commitment Jennings Hester sits with his team at 11-1 and going into a big game this weekend. The Marist linebacker had heard the news of the firing of Alabama coach Mike Shula, and he talks of his verbal pledge.

"We've had a real good season," Jennings Hester said from Atlanta, (Ga.). "We are in the third-round of the play-offs right now. We just had a big win last week, and we are playing Eric Berry and Creekside. It's going to be a big game, a real tough game (at home)."

Hester's unofficial stats for the season includes 110 tackles, nine for loss, two interceptions with a touchdown and five broken up passes. He is currently 6-3, 228 pounds.

When asked if the dismissal of coach Mike Shula changes his plans Hester replied, "No, it's not going to alter my plans. I wish he could have stayed around. I really liked coach Shula. We had a good relationship, but I'm sure Alabama will find a great coach. We'll be fine."

The Tide's defensive coaches are eager for Hester to arrive on campus next summer, and he plans to see the field early.

"They told me they are not planning on redshirting me," he said. "They want me in the mix next year."

Hester has a solid work-out program during the off-season with his sights set on playing as a freshman.

"I'm always doing speed training, plyometric workout, speed, agility, quickness stuff all the time, and lifting all the time," he said. "I'm just going to be working on my explosion a lot and getting a little bit bigger and faster."

A.J. Hawke is a player Hester likes as a role model as he added, "He's the guy I look up to. I love his style of play."

Hester will take his official visit to Alabama in January and asked of other visits, "No, I'm staying with Alabama," he said.

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