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Thursday, March 14, 2013
Bookser picks up phone, lands two offers

By Jared Shanker

To coaches recruiting Alex Bookser, do not be offended if the Pittsburgh Mount Lebanon offensive tackle does not call. He admits he tends to forget to give coaches a ring.

He remembered Thursday, however, and it resulted in two SEC offers.

Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney finally heard back from Bookser, and he and coach Butch Jones were ready to extend an offer to the 6-foot-6, 295-pound, two-way lineman.

“Coach Mahoney had messaged me on Facebook a couple times and said to call him, but I’m not the best at calling people when they tell me to,” Bookser said. “But today I had time and thought I should really call him just to say what’s up and learn a little about the program. He was really excited that I called and told me all about the place, and it sounds really nice, bunch of brand new facilities.”

Jones then got on the phone with Bookser, who really liked what the two coaches had to say. He hopes to learn more about the program and could visit following trips to Rutgers on Mar. 30 and Ohio State the following week.

The same morning, Bookser remembered his high school coach Mike Melnyk told him to give the Alabama staff a call. He thought he would just be talking with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal, but there was a surprise waiting for him on the other line.

“I thought it was just going to be the O-line coach telling me he was interested,” Bookser said, “but I actually got on with Coach [Nick] Saban and talked to him for a little. It was pretty cool.”

The four-time national champion talked to Bookser about the offensive line tradition in Tuscaloosa and how he would fit right in.

“He talked a lot about the program and said how he really liked the way I played, really liked my physicality and played with good technique and stuff like that,” he said. “He just said he was excited about me and the way I play.”

Bookser, who is also being recruited as a defensive lineman by some schools, has 16 offers.