Mama 'blown away' at Alabama

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco offensive lineman Damien Mama took his third official visit this past weekend to Alabama and called it his best visit to date.

Damien Mama, the nation's top guard prospect, has taken official visits to Wisconsin and Notre Dame and checked out Alabama this past weekend.

"It was amazing," Mama said. "Everything about the trip was incredible. The game atmosphere was like nothing I've ever seen before. The passion the fans have out there for football is incredible and I was blown away. My dad and younger brother went out there with me and they were in shock of what it was like, they couldn't believe it either.

"Alabama has an incredible team and I like the way they play. They run a pro-style offense that fits me very well. They just wear teams down with how tough and physical they are up front. They're so disciplined and look like a machine out there, they don't make mistakes."

Mama said the players and coaches were another big plus about the school.

"I got along great with all the players and it was cool seeing my cousin, Isaac Luatua, out there," Mama said. "I had Juju (Smith), Viane (Talamaivoa) and Tyler (Luatua) with me and that made it even more fun. I spent a lot of time with Mario Cristobal, the OL coach and he's a great dude. He's a players coach and the guys love playing for him.

"I enjoyed meeting Nick Saban too. During games and practices, he's all business but away from football, he was a fun guy to be around. I asked the players about him and they said they love playing for him. They said they would go to war with him any day and that means a lot to me because you can't fool those guys.

"Another huge plus was the strength and condition program they have. I spent a lot of time with Coach Cochran and soaked up everything he said like a sponge. That's what I want to go in to after football and they have the best program in the nation. He was telling me what they could do with my body, tighten me up a little in the upper body and add some flexibility. All of my trips were great but this was definitely the best visit I've taken. I had an incredible time out there."

Mama said he's still sorting through where to take his last couple of trips.

"I'm looking at BYU and LSU still but I'm thinking of taking a visit to USC now," Mama said. "Me and the boys were all wanting to take a visit together and USC is one of the few schools we can do that at. Toa (Lobendahn), Juju, Austin (Maloata) and Tyler all want to visit together and if they offer Ainuu (Taua) and Kammy (Delp), that would be a fun trip.

"We could visit UCLA together too but Austin and Toa have already committed to USC so it would be hard to do that one. Right now, I'm still trying to figure everything out. Location won't play a factor for me at all. I'll go anywhere to play and hopefully I'll be ready to make my commitment at the Army All-American game if I'm ready to do it by then."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 16 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
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