"Next year we'll go all the way."
"In December is when I realized Alabama was where I wanted to be," said Jonathan Atchison of Douglass High in Atlanta, Ga.
"It was on my 5th or 6th visit, and every time I'd just keep falling more and more in love with the place. I kept meeting more people there each time I went and got real comfortable being there."
Atchison had originally intended to go to Auburn, but had a change of heart as their coaching staff changed and his fondness for Tuscaloosa became more apparent.
"I have a real good relationship with Coach (James) Willis," he explained. "I've known him since I was a junior. He's one of the big reasons I wanted to go the Auburn in the first place. I decided to go to Alabama though before he came, but I'm glad he's going to be there."
Atchison is a lightning fast linebacker who reports a 40 time of 4.54. Besides the competition between Alabama and Auburn for his signature, he also received plenty of attention from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Florida, and Clemson.
Atchison thinks his game is getting to where it needs to be where he can come into camp and challenge for early playing time.
"Earlier I was thinking I'd redshirt, but I feel I made a big step forward this year," he said. "So, right now my expectation is to come in and try to win a job."
To do so Atchison is bulking up in the weight room.
"After our season I've been doing a lot of lifting and trying to put on a little extra weight," he stated. "I'm up to almost 219 now. I'm planning to run some track this spring to help stay in shape."
The coaching staff sees Atchison as 'Sam' or strongside linebacker which fits into what Jonathan thinks are his strengths at the position.
"I think I'm good at picking up the read on plays," said Atchison. "With my quickness I can make the reads and get back into coverage. I need to work on getting tight in the hips, but that's gonna be no problem."
Atchison says he stays in touch with some fellow recruits as well as the coaches.
"I keep in touch with Coach Smart and Coach Willis. On the team, I talk with Trent (Richardson) and Petey (Smith). I'm looking forward to being around those guys everyday," he expressed.
Atchison looks forward to joining the team on what he believes will become a special run.
"Last year we came close, but next year we'll go all the way," he exclaimed.
Atchison is in good shape academically reporting a 1500 on the SAT, and a 2.8 GPA. At Alabama he plans on majoring in Electrical Engineering.
"I plan on getting there June 2," Atchison said excitedly.
Atchison wore No. 19 at Douglass High and hopes to keep the number at Alabama.
Accolades he earned at Douglass include: All-Rookie team as a sophomore; as a senior he made 1st team Defense and 1st team Offense (played TE) on the All-Region team, and was named All-State on defense in Georgia.
Senior stats: 125 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.
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