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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Bama, LSU offers delay Kizer's decision

By Jared Shanker

A week ago, DeShone Kizer sat down with his parents to discuss his future. The three of them were planning to end the Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic quarterback’s recruitment.

“We almost prepared to maybe commit to a school,” Kizer said. “We laid out a few schools and compared and planned on making a decision in two or three weeks.

Deshone Kizer
DeShone Kizer picked up an invitation to the Elite 11 finals last week. Will he get an offer from the Buckeyes?
“Then this door opened and changed a lot of things.”

That doorway leads to the SEC, as two-time defending national champion Alabama and SEC West rival LSU offered just a few days apart over the last week.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban spoke with Kizer for 30 minutes on Monday detailing the 6-foot-5, 208-pound Watch List member’s offer from Alabama.

“He said how [Kizer’s highlights] went from the area coach to the position coach to Saban in just two days,” Kizer said. “Saban said they fell in love with the film. With my footwork and running abilities I’d excel with the tough offensive line they rebuild every year.”

The fourth quarterback the Tide have offered, the offer is not committable until the staff sees Kizer throw in person. The staff wants Kizer to camp during the summer or at least visit Tuscaloosa during the spring. The coaches will also head to Toledo in the spring to watch Kizer throw during the evaluation period, which begins on Apr. 15.

The opportunity to speak with Saban was a humbling experience for Kizer, who added he was excited his talents impressed “one of the best coaches in the world -- along with coach [Les] Miles.”

Miles offered Kizer on Feb. 28 and was the fourth SEC coach to do so -- but the first from a conference program with a winning record in 2012. While Miles is a “Michigan man,” he is from Ohio. When the two talked last week, Miles reminisced about spending some of his childhood summers at Put-in-Bay, which is part of a small island just off the Ohio coast in Lake Erie and a place Kizer frequents.

New offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Cam Cameron also spoke with Kizer during the same conversation, and, along with Miles, talked about how Kizer’s mobility would fit into what the Tigers want to do offensively.

“I’m doing research and watching tapes on how the offense is run,” Kizer said, “and I feel the offense and coaching staff is a great fit if I go there. They make the quarterback the centerpiece of the offense.”

Kizer had a top three of Michigan State, North Carolina and Northwestern before the Alabama and LSU offers. He said he won’t just adjust his leaderboard to create a new top five, instead just reassessing his entire recruitment. He will still visit the Tar Heels this weekend, though.

“I’d say I’ll reevaluate things altogether,” Kizer said. “There’s going to be a few more schools to offer in the next month or two. I’ve had a lot of conversations with UCLA and Stanford, and I’m going to [Los Angeles] in the spring and maybe visit UCLA and go up to Stanford.

“Once that happens, I’ll try to make a solid top five before a decision.”