As Tariq Castro-Fields watched Alabama extend its winning streak to 23 games during his official visit to Tuscaloosa, not only was a bar set for other schools, his recruitment plans were thrown into uncertainty.
Because Penn State is playing in the Big Ten title game this weekend, the 6-foot-1, 177-pound Castro-Fields has to reschedule his official visit. And since he is already locked into a Dec. 9 official visit to Maryland which he does not want to move, he will not be able to visit Penn State until January.
And that does not even take into account Virginia Tech, which plays in the ACC title game this weekend so he cannot officially visit there until January, either.
"I have to see how everything fits together," said Castro-Fields, the No. 27 cornerback in the 2017 class. "I want to commit on my birthday, which is Jan. 14. I would have to be at Penn State for my birthday, and I want to commit on my birthday, so how everything works out, I don't know.
"I know I have Maryland in two weeks. (Schools) tried to get me to move Maryland up, but all the guys from the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) are going to be there, so I would rather take it with them."
The standard bearer for official visits, though, is Alabama. It was his first one, and he made the trip with his mother and grandmother.
He was hosted by defensive back Aaron Robinson.
"He was my main host, and then I was with Jared Mayden as well," Castro-Fields said. "It was real cool. I am glad I was with someone who plays my position. They told me the good and the bad of things, so I'm glad I got to speak with them about how they transition to being a high school senior and going into Alabama. What were their struggles? What they were ready for? They really enlightened me about a lot of things."
Castro-Fields also spoke with Crimson Tide freshman Trevon Diggs, who was a prep star in Maryland.
"We just talked it up about the high school experience, and then he was telling me what I need to do if I want to go there and be ready to play," Castro-Fields said. "We work out with the same trainer."
Prior to the game against Auburn, Castro-Fields sat down with coach Nick Saban for a discussion.
"He was telling my mom the overall view of the program, and their values," Castro-Fields said. "This trip was mainly for my mom to see Alabama, meet with the academic staff, and for me to see the game and re-connect with the coaches. He was telling me how a lot of DMV guys go down there and do well. He said they usually adjust well and compete."
And what did Castro-Fields' mom think of the trip?
"Oh, she loved it," he said. "Just the overall hospitality they showed us was evident to her. She was blown away by the academic support, and how much they actually support you. They were telling her how after college you can come back and they will help you with your resume. They want to better you for life."
Castro-Fields arrived Friday and sat in on the defensive back meetings.
"I got to see them coach them up scheme wise and how they go over everything with coach Pruitt, coach Adley and coach Saban," Castro-Fields said. "I got to see the walk through and how they go ahead with that."
On Saturday, it was the Iron Bowl.
"I got to see how the defensive scheme translates to the game, with all the checks and all the calls," Castro-Fields said. "Everything is so complicated. I was sitting down and just trying to understand a little of it. At corner, it's probably easier because you don't have so many calls. But when you're talking about the 'Star,' and the 'Money,' and the safety ...it's very different.
"The environment was crazy. To watch it on t.v. (in the past) and then to see it live, and all the fans are super supportive for Alabama and Auburn ...the environment was crazy."