'Bama checks out Texas tandem

Alabama is expected to make unprecedented moves in Texas over the next couple of recruiting cycles, and a pair of prospects from a Houston-area school are certainly in that mix including a potentially elite quarterback.

Alabama dabbles into several states across the country looking for elite talent, but the trend of late has been to dip into California and Texas more than it did previously.

In the Lone Star State, the bigger public schools usually make all the headlines, but a pair of one-time sleepers at private Houston (Tex.) Kinkaid has the eye of area-recruiter Burton Burns.

He checked in with class of 2014 wide receiver/tight end Mavin Saunders (pictured above) and 2015 quarterback J.T. Granato last week.

"They (Alabama) initially came in to speak to me about both of them," said Stephen Hill, the head coach at Kinkaid. "They wanted to eyeball Mavin to see what all the hype was about.

"Mavin and J.T. have put us out there."

"Mavin is almost 6-foot-6, about 235 pounds," the coach continued. "He looks like a sculpture, everyone that sees him just says 'oh my gosh.'

"So Bama wanted to start the recruiting on him."

Saunders has several SEC and Big 12 offers, while Granato has all the tools to likely hold even more at this time next year, according to Hill.

"They did the same thing with J.T., they really like his film and the fact that we get under center a little bit," he said. "They really, really liked what they saw in J.T. They said he already looks a lot like (A.J.) McCarron and some other guys that have now.

"He's almost 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he's a big ole' kid. He's 16 and is a big presence."

Granato will camp in Tuscaloosa.

Granato's size is one thing, but the way he handles himself in big-time situations is what his coach says sets him apart from others his age.

"At such a young age, he amazes me with his pocket presence," he added. "He can move in the pocket, feel the rush and keep his eyes downfield. He can get to the third or fourth progression already, which is something that's hard to teach. He's also a leader; when he speaks, seniors listen to him.

"He's a little ahead of the curve, I believe."

Alabama can see it as well, and they'll have the Texan on campus this summer.

"They were really intrigued by J.T., and they'll come back and watch him throw more," said Hill. "They also invited him to their camp.

"Alabama would be at the very top of his list if they were to jump on board."

While Granato doesn't sport any offers yet, Hill says it's not because of a lack of talent. On the contrary, he believes it has to do with how elite the rising junior can eventually be.

"All these coaches haven't offered because they don't think J.T. will give them a real chance, when all he wants is his first offer," he said with a laugh. "It's tough for him."

Saunders, a three-star, is currently ranked as the No. 12 tight end prospect nationally on FOX Sports NEXT/Scout.com.

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