In-Depth Interview with New Tide Commitment

Brad Smelley, from Tuscaloosa-American Christian, (Ala.), dreamed of playing college football for the University of Alabama. His dream will become a reality as he committed to the Tide coaching staff Sunday afternoon. Smelley and his father spoke about the decision.

"He wanted to go ahead and commit," said Bart Smelley, "He wanted to get everything behind him. He planned on doing it earlier, but with baseball he decided to wait until it was over."

"He called coach [Joe] Pendry this afternoon and told him he was ready to commit. He has been real impressed with everything he has seen."

The 6-3, 220-pound prospect has played quarterback for American Christian, but he was recruited for a different position by coach Nick Saban.

"They offered him as an athlete, but they feel like he is well suited for the H-Back role," Bart Smelley said. "We have watched a lot of practices and have seen Preston Dial doing it. Brad really loves it. I think with his size and everything he is perfect for that role."

"He has his whole senior year to grow. The coaches would like for him to get up to about 235-pounds. I don't think that is going to be a problem for him."

"Ole Miss had offered him. It's still very early. He was receiving a lot of interest from a bunch of SEC schools like Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Auburn."

"He didn't want to keep going through everything and leading people on. He knew Alabama was where he wanted to go. Everything is starting to heat up since spring ball is over. He just didn't want to lead people on for the sake of offers."

Bart Smelley will soon have two sons playing college football for two different SEC schools.

"They [Brad and Chris] are good boys," he said. "They are both where they want to be. Chris is where he wants to be up at South Carolina, and Brad is where he wants to go. Down the road I really don't know what we are going to do with both of them playing for different schools. It is very exciting for us though."

Brad Smelley talked in-depth about his commitment.

"I've been thinking about it for a while. I talked to the coaches, and Alabama was where I wanted to be. I talked to my parents, and I knew this was the right thing to do. I went ahead and made my decision," he said.

Smelley shared his opinion of the new coaching staff in Tuscaloosa, "I think it's great. It's really a great thing for this program. It seems like it's better now than it's ever been. There is a lot more upside."

"Coach [Joe] Pendry was my recruiter. I talk to him a lot. I call him, and I've even seen him out playing golf. We have a really good relationship with each other."

"I have met with coach [Nick] Saban a few times. I like him a lot. He seems like a great guy, and I know he is a great coach."

Smelley passed for 2,600 yards with 24 touchdowns during his junior campaign. He talked of the new projected position of H-Back for the University of Alabama.

"When my brother, Chris, was the quarterback here at ACA I played receiver. I loved playing receiver and having the ball in my hands. I think it would work out well if that's what they end up wanting me to play. It's a great position, and I can do a lot of stuff. I think that's the best place for me," he said.

Smelley is finished with his recruitment as he stated, "It gets a lot off of my mind. It really puts my mind at ease. I can get ready to work hard this summer and do everything I need to do to get better."

Smelley will also play baseball for Alabama as a starter at shortstop for ACA.

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