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Sunday, January 20, 2013
Tide OL pledge agrees to grayshirt

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- With 21 commitments already on board, Alabama’s recruiting class is running out of spots.

But one opened up over the weekend when Bradley Bozeman and the Alabama coaching staff agreed to a grayshirt, meaning he won't be on scholarship until next January. That would open a spot for another recruit in this class.

The four-star, in-state offensive lineman tore his ACL during his senior season.

“It’s the best decision for me,” Bozeman said. “It would give my knee time to heal, and let me come in more mature, bigger, faster, stronger and ready to actually compete for a spot because coming in off a knee injury -- more than likely, I’m going to get redshirted. Once I get redshirted, that year is gone.

“If I come in January, that gives me another six months. I’m not putting wear and tear on my knee, giving it plenty of time to get right and just trying to get back to it.”

Bozeman plans to enroll at Alabama for the fall semester but won’t start working out with the football team until next January. He and his family had known about the possibility for months, but it became a reality this weekend.

“We’ve been keeping on the down low right now, for them, because we didn’t really know,” he said. “It was more of a heads-up just in case that did happen, giving me time to prepare for it. We didn’t really officially know until this weekend.”

Still, Bozeman remained upbeat after hearing the news. Over the weekend, he took his official visit to Alabama and enjoyed every minute of the trip.

“It was great,” he said. “I had a blast. We toured all of the facilities, the Bear Bryant Museum, ate like crazy, just had a good time.”

While on campus, Bozeman saw several other official visitors, including ESPN 150 standouts Vonn Bell and Reuben Foster. Bozeman and Foster played football against each other growing up before Foster moved to Georgia in the sixth grade.

“I guess [the visit] went good for him,” Bozeman said. “He seemed like he was having a pretty good time. We didn’t really talk about where he was going. We were just kind of hanging out this weekend. He’s going to do what he thinks is the best decision for him, and that’s what he needs to do. Hopefully we’ll end up with him.”

Bozeman says he’s still about six to eight weeks ahead of schedule on his rehab.