Alston Comparing His Choices

"The coaches are what stand out about Pittsburgh," Quinton Alston said. "They're great. They are all good guys and I really like my position coach (Bernard Clark). He's basically the guy I'll be around the most, so it's important we get along. Coach Clark is great. I've done my research on him and even though he's new to Pitt, he's still a good coach. The players seem to like him a lot and..."

Quinton Alston, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound three-star linebacker from Timber Creek Regional High School in Erial, N.J., says he has 15 scholarship offers but now says one stands out above the rest – Pittsburgh.

Alston, ranked as the No. 22 outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, now favors Pittsburgh solidly over Duke, Boston College, Iowa and Minnesota. All five have offered as well as Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Middle Tennessee State, East Carolina, Temple, West Virginia, Louisville and a couple others.

"The coaches are what stand out about Pittsburgh," Alston said. "They're great. They are all good guys and I really like my position coach (Bernard Clark). He's basically the guy I'll be around the most, so it's important we get along.

"Coach Clark is great," he said. "I've done my research on him and even though he's new to Pitt, he's still a good coach. The players seem to like him a lot and he's fun to be around. He was a monster when he played and I can learn from him."

Alston visited the Panthers for their junior day and spring game.

"I liked the players there too," he said. "They welcomed me with open arms and made me feel at home.

"Pittsburgh is a great city and a nice atmosphere," he said. "I liked the surroundings there."

The only other two schools in his top five that he has already visited are Duke and Boston College.

"Duke has the academics," he said. "That's what I like a lot about Duke.

"It's also a great family atmosphere," he said. "(Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks) coach Kurt Roper showed me around and I got to meet his wife and his son and just felt a good connection with him.

"I also know a few guys that go there, so that's good too," he said. "Having friends in the locker room already would make things easier for me."

Alston says the highlight of his visit to Boston College was talking with senior linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich missed the entire 2009 season with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which he overcame.

"He's a great guy," he said about Herzlich. "That was a memorable moment and a great experience. He's a great player too and I really liked talking to him. We just chatted about basic stuff."

Alston says he also enjoyed watching the Eagles practice. "I liked watching them practice," he said. "It's very intense and made me want to put on some pads and get out there."

Although Alston doesn't plan on attending any camps this summer, he says he hopes to visit Iowa and Minnesota unofficially before making a decision. Alston hopes to commit sometime in July or August.

"I want to get it out of the way," he said. "I want to get focused on winning a championship next season."

So what is Alston looking for in a college program? "I'm looking for a balance of academics and football," he said. "I want there to be a great family atmosphere and my position coach has to be a guy I like and I'm comfortable with.

"I'd also like to be in a good environment and where there's a good fan base," he said. "Distance won't matter though."

Growing up Alston says he liked watching Texas play. "I was big on defense and really liked watching their defense," he said. "I liked watching Texas, but it's not like I've dreamed about going there or anything."

Either way, the Longhorns are not recruiting him.

Alston finished his junior season with 80 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and four sacks.

"I bring a lot of leadership to the field," he said. "I take control of the defense. I do a lot of film work and study a lot, so I'm always prepared.

"I'm also good at making adjustments," he said. "I close very strong and I can shed blocks well and wrap up my tackles."

He says he can bench 330-pounds, squat 450 and has a 31-inch vertical jump.

"I want to work on getting my reads quicker and react faster," he said. "I want better footwork and come out of my stance quicker."

Alston plans to major in sports medicine or sports management and report a 3.3 core GPA. He took the ACT for the first time on April 10 and is still waiting for the results.


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