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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Juco OT adds offer from Cristobal, Tide

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Last year, Alabama’s offensive line was as good as any unit in the country. But there’s a new boss in town, Mario Cristobal, and he’s already out looking for bigger, stronger linemen.

On Tuesday, Cristobal offered a scholarship to 6-foot-6, 320-pound junior college offensive tackle Chad Mavety (Sparta, N.J./Nassau Community College).

“He told me he watched my film with coach [Nick] Saban, and they really enjoyed it,” Mavety said. “They’re recruiting four players, and I’m their top target from the 2014 junior college class. They loved my film, and they want me to be a part of Alabama.

“It’s an honor. They’re the best team in the country. It’s definitely exciting.”

Mavety has never met Cristobal, but even over the phone, he could sense the passion the former Florida International head coach and Miami assistant has for his new gig with the Crimson Tide.

“He’s a cool guy,” Mavety said. “He’s fired up. He loves the game of football. He feels very strongly about Alabama, and he said he’s trying to build the strongest offensive line in college football next year. You can tell he’s a very passionate guy.”

In the past, Alabama hasn’t been afraid to reach into the junior college ranks for offensive lineman. James Carpenter, a first-round draft pick, and Aaron Douglas came from the junior college level. Also, Leon Brown, who just signed with the Tide, is expected to compete for the right tackle spot this spring. He played against Mavety’s team last year.

As for Mavety, he’s well aware of Alabama’s track record with junior college offensive lineman and the opportunities they have had to play early.

“That’s a good thing,” he said. “Me being a junior college player, I want to play for the best program in the country, and I want to get on the field right away. I only have two years.”

The New Jersey native now has more than 15 scholarship offers. He said Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee are recruiting him the hardest, but it’s hard not to overlook Alabama now that they have offered.

“Right now, it’s just so early, but you can’t deny the fact that Alabama has some of the best facilities in the country and some of the best coaches in the country,” Mavety said. “They’re also two-time national champs. That’s huge.”

He plans to visit Tuscaloosa sometime this spring.