State Remains In The Mix's four-star linebacker Brandon Spikes from Crest-Shelby, N.C. took an official visit to Alabama for the LSU game. Spikes' first trip to Tuscaloosa was a memorable one and he names a leader.

"My visit went great," said Brandon Spikes. "I love the people, the players and the coaching staff at Alabama. It was my first time to ever go to Alabama and I loved it. It was a great atmosphere. It was a great game. The fans were going crazy the entire game."

"Alabama is definitely leading right now. This was by far the best visit I have ever been on. They lead over LSU, Virginia Tech, Florida and North Carolina State. I have a visit set to Florida (11-26). I will probably take visits to LSU and N.C. State as well. I plan to make my decision at the U.S. Army All-American game," Spikes added.

Spikes was impressed with the Alabama defense, and he enjoyed talking to a few coaches about a possible role with the Tide.

"I thought the linebackers were all great," Spikes said. "They are a bunch of men playing out there. I sat down with Coach [Joe] Kines. We went over the defensive scheme. Alabama has two senior linebackers leaving, and I could play next year."

"Coach [Mike] Shula was everything I thought he would be. He is a very good guy. All of the coaches felt like my coaches. They were outspoken, and they tell you the truth." ranks Spikes as the 13th-best linebacker in the country, and the Tide's Terrence Jones served as his player host for the weekend.

"I thought Terrence was a great person," Spikes said. "I liked him a lot. He went in the game on Saturday and made a lot of plays. He did his thing. He told me how it is in Tuscaloosa and how he never regretted his decision."

Many of the recruits are in awe of the new facilities in Tuscaloosa as Spikes said, "I was blown away by the facilities. The locker room was amazing. Everything is top of the line. They are adding on to the stadium, and they are building new dorm rooms for the players. I wouldn't mind being around those type of facilities at all."

Spikes leads his team into the second round of the play-offs Friday night as Crest travels to A.C. Reynolds. Spikes has recorded 70 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, two interceptions and four forced fumbles for his senior campaign.

In two games this season Spikes has knocked-out the opposing quarterback. One knockout took place last Friday in the first round of the play-offs.

"I guess I just hit the guy so hard he couldn't move. I mean he was out cold," Spikes said.

Stay tuned to and the U.S. Army All-American game scheduled for NBC national broadcast January 7th as numerous athletes will make their college announcement.

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