Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Alabama Crimson Tide [Print without images]

Thursday, January 17, 2013
Watch List DE Sawyer adds Tide offer

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama’s Nick Saban and Kirby Smart toured through the state of Georgia on Wednesday. When they stopped at North Gwinnett High School to see ESPN Watch List defensive end Dante Sawyer, they informed his coach that he had a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide.

“I was excited because I wasn’t expecting them to come in that day and tell Coach [Hayden] Sphire that I did have that offer,” Sawyer said. “It was pretty cool. [Saban] came all the way out to Suwanee, Ga., just to check on me and what not.”

The UA coaching staff likes Sawyer -- who’s listed at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds -- as a rush linebacker. They say he can play a similar role to current Tide starter Adrian Hubbard, who also hails from the Peach State.

Sawyer visited Tuscaloosa over the summer for one of Alabama’s camps, and he came back multiple times during the fall for games.

“I know about the atmosphere because I’ve been up there before,” Sawyer said. “I was talking to Austin Shepherd yesterday, and he was telling me about some things because he came from the same school as me. We were just talking about it yesterday.”

Shepherd was a backup offensive lineman for the Tide this season.

Alabama becomes Sawyer’s fourth offer, joining North Carolina, Ohio State and UCLA. He plans to return to Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s junior day in February.