Monday, April 22, 2013
A-Day notebook: LSU commit visits Bama
By Greg Ostendorf
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- ESPN 150 linebacker Sharieff Rhaheed (Fort Pierce, Fla./Central) committed to LSU last month, but that didn’t stop him from visiting Alabama over the weekend for the Crimson Tide’s spring game. It was his first trip to Tuscaloosa.
“It was good,” Rhaheed said. “I got to see a lot of new things -- the stadium, some of the campus, the area of Tuscaloosa, the practice facility and the weight rooms.”
When Rhaheed was on campus, it wasn’t a secret that he was committed to an SEC West rival. The Alabama coaching staff didn’t push for him to flip on the spot, but they did compare the two schools, giving the Tide the edge in certain categories.
“They weren’t trying to pressure me into committing to them or anything, but they were making pictures, showing why Alabama is better than LSU,” Rhaheed said. “The stadium is bigger, they have more fans and more NFL draft picks.”
After the visit, Rhaheed remains solid to LSU, but he did admit that he plans to rethink his decision at some point down the road.
Were the LSU coaches okay with their verbal pledge making the trip to Alabama?
“They didn’t say anything was wrong with it,” Rhaheed said. “When I went there for the visit, they said they want me to see other schools so I can make sure LSU is the best choice for me.”
Rhaheed has more than a dozen offers, but none from the top three schools in Florida. At this point, Alabama and LSU are the only two he’s considering.
It was a different feel for ESPN 150 linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) when he visited Alabama over the weekend. It was his first time in Tuscaloosa since he committed to the Tide last Wednesday.
“It went real good,” Hamilton said. “I enjoyed spending time with some more recruits and commitments. It was just fun spending the night in Tuscaloosa.”
The latest Alabama commitment didn’t waste any time talking to fellow recruits about joining him in the Tide’s 2014 class. His work might have paid off for a couple of targets.
“I was working on Ronnie Clark, Elisha Shaw, Stephen Roberts, those guys, just telling them they need to jump on board,” Hamilton said. “Stephen and Elisha both walked away saying that Alabama was their leading school.”
Hamilton also met five-star Cameron Robinson, the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle, on his trip. Robinson was likely the biggest name on campus over the weekend, so he was hard to miss.
“I told him the Tide is where it’s at,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully, he’ll be smart enough to come join us. I think he really liked it. I heard he was just in Tuscaloosa a couple weeks ago, so that’s a plus for him. He had a good time, though.”
There was plenty of talent on Alabama’s campus over the weekend, but not everybody made the trip. Among the expected visitors who didn’t come were cornerback Marlon Humphrey, tight end Tyler Luatua, defensive end Dante Sawyer and junior college offensive lineman Chad Mavety.
Mavety, who goes to school in New York, says he won’t visit any schools until after May 15. He’s still planning to make a trip to Tuscaloosa.