- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The recruit who traveled the longest distance for Saturday’s Iron Bowl was more than likely ESPN 300 athlete Anthony Averett. The Alabama commitment made the trip down from New Jersey, but it was well worth the trip to experience his first game inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.
“I had never experienced anything like that before,” Averett said. “I went to the spring game, and there was a lot of people for the spring game, too, but nothing like this game. There was tailgating everywhere, people everywhere, our fans, their fans. I have never experienced that before in my life.”
As for the game itself, Averett expected an Alabama to win but not quite to that extent. Even he was surprised with how lopsided the final outcome was.
“I had a feeling Alabama was going to win, but 49-0, I didn’t expect that,” he said. “I feel like we just beat them in all phases of the game. They couldn’t really stop the run, the pass. On offense, Auburn couldn’t really do anything either with their new quarterback.”
Listed as an athlete, Averett has played all over the field for his high school team, but Alabama likes him as a cornerback at the next level. The 6-foot, 170-pound prospect watched Dee Milliner, the Tide’s top corner, hoping to be like him one day.
“I was watching Dee Milliner most of the time, just to see how he did things because when I go there, I want to be great like him, so I was watching him mainly,” Averett said.
The future defensive back met with his main recruiter, assistant coach Jeff Stoutland, and he also talked to UA head coach Nick Saban both before and after the game.
“It went well,” Averett said. “He was asking me how my family’s doing. It was kind of chilly that day, too, and he was just joking around with me, asking if I brought the cold weather down. It wasn’t that cold to me, but it was very cold to them.”
Obviously, Averett doesn’t get down to Tuscaloosa as often because of the distance, so he made a point to meet some of the fellow commitments such as O.J. Howard and ArDarius Stewart, so he could start that relationship before enrolling next summer.
“I really wanted to meet them before I come back in June,” Averett said. “It seemed like they kind of already knew each other, and I think they are a little closer than I am. It’s definitely important to get to know them, so we can make an impact as a freshmen class next year.”
Averett expects a much closer, more hard-fought game this Saturday when Alabama battles Georgia in the SEC championship. The winner will earn a trip to the BCS title game against Notre Dame.
1dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
1dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf