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Sunday, January 27, 2013
Notebook: OL raves about Bama jr. day

By Greg Ostendorf

Orlando Brown Jr.
Orlando Brown Jr. had only positive things to say about his Alabama visit.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- After leaving Alabama’s junior day on Saturday, one standout 2014 offensive lineman was incredibly impressed.

Orlando Brown Jr. tweeted, ‘By far my best visit #RTR #BamaNation.’ It was clear the 2014 Watch List member from Georgia enjoyed his trip to Tuscaloosa.

“It went great,” Brown said. “It was pretty exciting. I got to see the campus really for like the first time. I got a chance to see the academics, the academic building and learn a little bit more about the program. I really got a chance to see the weight room, and I talked to Coach [Jeff] Stoutland, which was a big part of my day.”

Although Brown shared just a brief greeting with UA head coach Nick Saban, he enjoyed spending most of his day with Stoutland, the Tide’s offensive line coach. The two talked a lot about the offensive scheme they run at Alabama.

“He’s a great offensive line coach,” Brown said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s been coaching for 30-plus years. He’s got a lot of players in the NFL like Orlando Franklin and Bryant McKinnie, who’s playing in the Super Bowl, so I know he’s a pretty good coach.”

The 6-foot-8, 345-pound Brown plans to visit South Carolina’s junior day this coming Saturday, but says Alabama is definitely one of the top colleges he’s looking at.

Peach State DB surprised by offer

It’s safe to say that 2014 safety Cortez McDowell was caught a little off guard when Alabama head coach Nick Saban offered him a scholarship at the Tide’s junior day on Saturday. He had to check to make sure it was real.

“He was saying that they watched my highlight tape and that they’d love to have me play for them and that my scholarship was guaranteed there,” McDowell said. “Then, he just skipped to the next thing. He didn’t pause after he said that. He just went to the next thing. So I was kind of on the edge of my seat, like ‘Is that yes?’”

When he realized he had an offer, McDowell felt like the big man on campus. He now has 10 offers and hopes to add another next weekend when he visits South Carolina.

McDowell plans to narrow a list by the time he starts spring practice.

Sawyer feels the love at Alabama

ESPN Watch List defensive end Dante Sawyer picked up an Alabama offer two weeks ago, but he didn’t realize how interested the Crimson Tide were until he visited on Saturday for their first junior day.

“It was great. I loved it,” Sawyer said. “They showed me a lot of love, I mean a lot of love. They showed me that they really want me to come, so I’m really considering them. Coach Kirby [Smart]  told me I was really high on their priority list.”

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Sawyer said Alabama likes him at the Jack linebacker position.

For now, Ohio State remains his top school, but after Saturday, he says the Tide are now No. 2 or No. 3 on his list. He plans to release a top five on Monday.