"I went to Alabama's Junior Day a few weeks ago. I liked it a lot. I met the coaches. I was able to spend some time with my recruiting coach. The facilities were very nice," said James Winston.
Winston grew up a big Auburn fan, but several things persuaded the defensive lineman to keep an open mind about his recruitment.
"Alabama has a very good defense, and they are young. Coach Shula is really starting to build a program. I spoke with Coach Wyatt, my recruiting coach, today. I really like him a lot. He is pretty cool. I would say that Alabama is my overall favorite, but I am still an Auburn fan."
Besides Alabama, several schools are staying in contact with Winston.
Louisville: "I have never been up to Louisville, but they are sending me a lot of mail. That's why I am interested in them."
Auburn: "I like them because I grew up as an Auburn fan."
Clemson: "I have been receiving a lot of letters from them."
Auburn recently extended an invitation to Winston for their upcoming spring scrimmage.
"Well, I wanted to go to Alabama and Auburn's A-day games, but both are on the same day. I spoke with Coach Wyatt today. He said they still were going to recruit me if I went to Auburn instead. I would have to say I am going to Alabama's A-day game. The coaches are saying they really like me, so I am going to go there," said Winston.
In the past few years, Daphne High School has been one of the most powerful programs in the state. With a new head coach, it has been a process of rebuilding. Winston hopes to take his team back to the way things were in his first two years on the team.
"We didn't have that good of a year this past year. We were 7-5. We lost in the state championship, the year before, and we usually only lose 1-2 games every year. We got a new head coach this year and a few things changed. Our defense was basically the same. I didn't really have any good stats because I was always double teamed."
Winston believes he has the total package, but would like to work on a few key areas before his senior season.
"I am a really good run stopper. I feel like I am very balanced and can do it all. I can get in the backfield. I love rushing the quarterback. I would really like to work on my speed, and not getting tired during the game."
When asked about his decision, Winston replied, "I want to see how I feel at the campus, and where it is located. I also want to check out the environment, and the education I will be receiving. I want to be a head football coach in Alabama one day," said Winston.