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Roundup: Recruits talk A-Day weekend

4/17/2012
Courtesy Sheldon Smith

Top TE Henry visits four schools in four days

Little Rock, Ark. (Pulaski Academy) tight end Hunter Henry took a tour of the SEC over the weekend, visiting four schools in four days.

After making stops at Vanderbilt and Tennessee on Thursday and Friday, Henry attended Georgia’s spring game on Saturday before wrapping up his caravan on Sunday in Tuscaloosa where he visited the University of Alabama.

“It was a great visit,” Henry said. “I had been there before and seen everything, but my dad, my brothers and my mom hadn’t seen it, and I really wanted my mom to see it. I took her there so she could see everything, and I could get her opinion on everything.”

So what did mom think about the visit?

“She loved it,” Henry said. “She raved on and on about how great it was, how great the coaching staff was and how she could eventually maybe see me playing there.”

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound ESPN 150 Watch List prospect visited UA earlier this year for one of the Crimson Tide’s junior days. On his return trip, he got a chance to sit down with Alabama coach Nick Saban again and talk football and what the university has to offer.

“With Coach Saban, we just talked about football, how they’re going to use the tight end and how they need one coming up because they’re going to be losing a couple,” Henry said. “Also, we talked off-the-field stuff, how they’re going to build my character and different spiritual things, which really impressed my mom.”

After taking all four visits, no school is standing out above the rest, but Henry plans to narrow his list down in the next couple of weeks. He’s being recruited by the majority of the SEC, as well as schools like Miami, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Stanford.

Staying in the SEC would be nice, but it’s not a deal breaker for the Arkansas native.

“I love the SEC,” Henry said. “I’m a southern guy, and I’ve always grown up in the South, but that’s not really a big thing to me really.”

Henry is more focused on where he can get a good degree and how the school is going to use the tight end in the offense.

“I just want to be used as a real tight end,” he said. “I know I’m going to have to block and stuff, but I want to be able to go out and make plays, stretch the field and do different things.”

Henry wants to make a decision before the start of his senior year.

LB Jones takes in A-Day as brother, recruit

As the brother of Barrett and Harrison Jones, linebacker Walker Jones has been to his fair share of A-Day games in the last four years. But now that he’s a senior in high school, he spent the weekend not as a fan, but as a recruit.

On Saturday, Jones registered with all of the other recruits, took a tour of the facilities, talked with the coaching staff, went on the field during warmups and watched the spring game from the area in Bryant-Denny Stadium where the recruits sit.

However, during the game he went right back to being a little brother as he watched his big brother Barrett try out a new position.

“It was interesting,” Jones said. “The first few times I saw him play right guard, I was pretty nervous, but then I learned to kind of trust him because I knew he was going to do the right thing. Then he switched to left tackle, and I knew left tackle was a lot harder, so I started getting nervous again, but then I kind of warmed up to it.

“I’m kind of going through the same thing with center because I was worried about him getting the snap right and all that stuff, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”

After the game, Jones got to hang out with both of his big brothers at the team barbeque. Although the two current Crimson Tide teammates are pushing for the youngest of the trio to join them at Alabama, they didn’t talk much football on Saturday.

“It was great,” Jones said. “They were pretty worn out from the game and all of their practices. It’s good to get your mind off football for a little bit, so that’s kind of what I tried to do. I didn’t want to ask them too many questions about what they had been doing in practice. I just tried to have fun with them and be relaxed with them.”

Jones has become a huge fan of the Tide, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to attend Alabama just because both of his brothers play there. In addition to his trip to Tuscaloosa, he also visited Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt last week.

The UA coaching staff knows it’s going to have to work to land the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker, and his main recruiters, Mike Groh and Kirby Smart, made him a priority over the weekend, and they were already setting up his next visit.

“We just kind of caught up,” Jones said. “I hadn’t been down there in a few months, so there wasn’t a lot of football talking going on as far as recruiting because they were pretty focused on the game. They just want me to come back down on a day when nothing’s going on, so we can really sit down and talk some football.”

Jones said he may visit Alabama again over the summer for one of the Crimson Tide’s camps. He plans to narrow his list down in the near future.

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