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Thursday, July 25, 2013
No. 1 OG Pierschbacher returns to Bama

By Greg Ostendorf

ESPN 300 offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) committed to Iowa back in January, but that didn’t stop other schools from coming after him. Both Alabama and Stanford extended scholarship offers after his decision, leaving a sense of doubt in the back of his mind.

For reassurance, Pierschbacher scheduled visits to both schools for this week. He wrapped up his trip to Alabama on Wednesday night. It was his second trip to Tuscaloosa.

“It went real well,” he said. “I was very impressed with everything that I saw and very happy with the visit.

“We checked out all the facilities, talked to some players, talked to all the coaches, sat in a couple meetings, watched some workouts and went to the stadium. Me and Coach [Mario] Cristobal went into a film room, and he walked me through some stuff and showed me how they do stuff at Alabama.”

Pierschbacher met all of the coaches, but he spent the majority of his time with Cristobal, Nick Saban and the strength and conditioning coach, Scott Cochran. Offensive line is a priority for the Crimson Tide in this class, and the staff made that clear to Pierschbacher.

“They were telling me that it was a good time to come in,” he said. “With them losing guys early to the draft and what not, they need to recruit heavier. It’s more important to them, so they said I’m coming in at the right time.

“They think I’m a five-position type of guy, so that just brings the value up more -- being able to play many different positions. They love the versatility.”

On his visit, Pierschbacher measured in at 6-foot-3, 286 pounds. He’s currently ranked as the top offensive guard in the country by ESPN. He’s played tackle his whole life, but he expects to play either guard or center at the next level. To him, it really doesn’t matter.

“I couldn't care less, to be honest,” Pierschbacher said. “I’ll play all five if I need to, just wherever I can contribute and see the field the earliest.”

Pierschbacher is scheduled to leave for Stanford on Thursday morning, where he’ll spend the weekend. He remains committed to Iowa but plans to make a decision one way or the other soon after he returns home.

“I’m just going to re-evaluate things, get the final visits in, then if I were to change, I’d like to get it done before the season starts," he said.