- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
Lindale, Ga., offensive lineman Andy Dodd has become a frequent visitor at the University of Alabama, and he was back in Tuscaloosa on Saturday to take in the Crimson Tide’s spring practice.
“Even though it was spring practice, it was still pretty intense, and they rotate a lot of the guys in, like the early enrollees and freshmen, they were getting reps as well as the seniors and the upperclassmen,” Dodd said. “The offensive line worked very hard. Out of everybody I watched, they were the ones who are constantly doing work and constantly doing drills.”
Dodd, who played tight end for Pepperell High School the last two years, has bulked up to 6-foot-4, 325 pounds and plans to play left tackle for the Dragons this season. Every school recruiting Dodd likes his frame on the line, and he says he’s versatile enough to play all five spots.
“Most schools really don’t know where they want me,” Dodd said. “They just know that I’m going to be an offensive lineman. It’s kind of an evaluation process to see where I fit best.”
The Georgia native has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Mississippi State and South Carolina. But after his weekend visit to UA, he has a new top three: Alabama, Georgia Tech and LSU.
Alabama: “Alabama knows what they’re doing. It’s already a set program. They win. Not many programs can sit there and say that they’re going to consistently be in the running to win a national championship.”
LSU: “It’s about the same thing. They’re consistent with how they play, and their campus is extremely nice.”
Georgia Tech: “They’re probably the school that recruited me the hardest and paid me the most attention consistently. Everyday, I would talk to somebody from there. They made me feel wanted.”
In addition to a winning tradition, Alabama has another factor working in its favor. Dodd’s teammate from last year, defensive lineman Dakota Ball, has already signed with the Crimson Tide in the 2012 recruiting class.
“We haven’t talked much lately because we’ve both been extremely busy, but back when Alabama first offered me and when my recruiting first started, we talked about it,” Dodd said. “I asked him questions about why he loved it so much. I really began to understand him, and I saw what he meant when I visited.”
Dodd is disappointed he won't be able to make it back to Tuscaloosa for the A-Day game in April because of a scheduled ACT test, but he plans to return the weekend before to watch Alabama’s scrimmage.
2dEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
2dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf