SEC Battle Shaping up for Ala. Back

<b>Ali Sharrief</b> is the most heavily recruited running back in the state of Alabama. Auburn and LSU were considered the heavy favorites, but has a trip to Athens helped change his mind?

"I went to Georgia about two weeks ago," said Ali Sharrief. "It was just an unbelievable campus. They offered me as a running back, but told me I could play defensive back."

Sharrief was able to spend some quality time with Coach Mark Richt. " I was sitting down with Coach Richt and we talked about all the players he has coached, and when he played. I didn't know he played with Vinny Testeverde," Sharrief said.

The Georgia coaches are having an in-house battle for Sharrief's services. "In the meeting with Coach Richt we started talking about me, and Coach Richt said he wanted to be straight up with me. He said they wanted me. The running backs coach wants me as a running back. The defensive backs coach wants me as a defensive back. He asked me what I wanted to play. I told him whatever position they needed me," Sharrief replied.

Sharrief was impressed with the Bulldogs but still likes a couple of Tiger teams. "I really liked it, I couldn't honestly say I like them over LSU and Auburn, but it is very nice. I really liked the G-Day game. It was really good," Sharrief added.

Sharrief took part in the state track meet at Paul W. Bryant School (Tuscaloosa) this past weekend. "It was raining just about the whole time. I really run track to stay in shape. I have been gaining weight like crazy. I'm at 200 pounds and running just as fast," Sharrief said.

LSU and Auburn are high on Sharrief's list, but other schools still have a chance to land this star athlete. Sharrief said, "I'm also looking at Alabama and Georgia."

At the state track meet, Sharrief had the opportunity to speak with one of Alabama's starting wide receivers. "I was able to speak with Tyrone Prothro. He is a real cool dude. I thought he would be cocky but he is the complete opposite. He is very quiet," Sharrief stated.

Prothro's performance on the football field has impressed Sharrief. "He goes out and always gets the job done. I really look up to him. He is really quick. Whenever he makes a cut, he is still running 4.4 speed. I am really working on that now. We have a spring game on May 15. The game will be played at our place," Sharrief added.

Andrew Bone covers Alabama Recruiting for

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