Alabama's coaching staff has been on the road of late, trying to solidify its 2013 class as one of the top groups in the country. While the staff has a pair of elite tight ends in O.J. Howard and Josh McNeil on board and ready to enroll in January, another big-name tight end is still in the mix.
The Crimson Tide sent recruiting coordinator Mike Groh to Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy to meet with four-star Hunter Henry earlier this week.
"It was good, it wasn't too long, but I got to see him and talk to him so that's good," said Henry, who remains an Arkansas commitment.
The two have a developed relationship unlike that of Henry with the Razorbacks new head coach and assembling staff.
"It's a ‘hey, how you doing type of thing,' he said of Coach Groh. " It's different because I've seen him and known him for a while as opposed to a new coach."
The pitch Groh made was more of the same.
"How they want me at Alabama, and how they think I'd be a good fit," said Henry. "They were talking to me about the program.
"They tell me they think I could be a good fit, but anywhere I go I have to compete for a starting spot. I have to do my best, nothing will be given to me in football and in life. I've got to go earn it."
With Arkansas, new Head Coach Bret Bielema has already made an effort to get America's No. 3 tight end on the phone.
"It's been good, I'm looking forward to getting to know Coach Bielema a little bit more," said the 6-foot-6, 240-pounder. "He runs a good system and everything, this is a good thing for the Arkansas program. I think he's going to be a great coach.
"He told me, straight up, that his last five tight ends have gone to the NFL. They've been really productive, and most were good at Wisconsin and in the NFL."
The process, after Arkansas suffered through a rough season and searched for a new coach, is at a much better point than it once was.
"I think I feel a lot better," Henry admitted. "I was real unsure. I still have my doors open and I'm keeping everything open, but I feel really good about Arkansas now."
Will any other schools be in consideration?
"Right now I'm committed to Arkansas, but I've kept the door open for me to make sure the place I end up is the right place for me," he added. "I'm looking to see who the staff will be at Arkansas. I still look at that, but I'm just waiting it out to make sure.
"A lot of praying, too, that will help lead to the right place for me."
Henry doesn't have a timetable for a decision, but he will visit Arkansas officially sometime in January. No other visits are planned at this time.