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Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Bama watches offered QB throw Tuesday

By Jared Shanker

Alabama has five offers out to 2014 quarterbacks, although the Crimson Tide coaches would not accept a commitment from any just yet. One quarterback could be closing in on turning his scholarship into a legitimate offer soon, though.

Dual-threat quarterback DeShone Kizer (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) threw for Alabama offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier on Tuesday.

Deshone Kizer
Deshone Kizer impressed Alabama during a throwing session on Tuesday.
“It went really well, pride myself on how well I did,” Kizer said. “Earlier [in the spring] I worked out a few times and wasn’t spinning the ball as well, but today I was fired up and had the music going, the footwork was nice and shortened my motion and felt it went well.”

The 6-foot-5, 208-pound quarterback has spent the offseason working on his throwing motion. He felt his motion was elongated and could be tightened, which colleges agreed with. So Kizer broke down his motion and footwork, working on his balance and tweaking his delivery.

Nussmeier told Kizer he saw a more polished quarterback Tuesday than the one he saw on film -- which was still good enough for an offer from the two-time defending national champions.

“I gave him a call at lunch time and the first thing he said was ‘When I went to come, I planned on seeing a tall, athletic, lanky guy slinging it with a long motion, but it was completely different,’ ” Kizer said. “He was really impressed and said my balance is a lot better and the footwork is some of the best he’s seen.”

Following the throwing session, Kizer was still a little uncertain as to how Alabama handles quarterback offers. One question he had for Nussmeier was what exactly an Alabama offer meant and how many of the five quarterbacks have a commitable offer. Nussmeier told Kizer that the staff is not ready to accept a commitment from any of those five.

Head coaches cannot travel to schools during the evaluation period, and Kizer is not sure if he can make it down to Tuscaloosa for a camp during the summer. Usually, Alabama coach Nick Saban wants to see a quarterback throw live in front of him, but he might have to make an exception for Kizer.

Saban spent several years in Ohio coaching at Kent State, Toledo and the Cleveland Browns, so he has connections to the state and the high school coaches in it. Nussmeier told Kizer that Saban has already heard good things about Kizer through friends still in Ohio.

“[Nussmeier] said Coach Saban mentioned before he got on the plane ... that if I really impress him and Coach Nussmeier came back with the right things to say that I might be one of the first be able to commit,” Kizer said. “He’ll go down in the next week and have a meeting with Saban and he said right now I’m in his top list and Coach Saban will be happy to hear the news.”

Kizer nearly committed during the winter before offers from Alabama and LSU made him reconsider an early decision. Since then, Michigan State and North Carolina, two of his previous finalists, have each landed a quarterback in the 2014 class. His focus is now on the SEC, although he said that is mainly because the schools he liked from other conferences have picked up quarterbacks. Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and Tennessee are all expected to be in Toledo to watch Kizer throw within the next few weeks.

He is happy he decided to wait, however. He added more offers and felt if he committed to Michigan State or North Carolina it would have been premature and only because he did not believe any more teams would come.

“I didn’t have that school I had my heart on,” Kizer said. “I was trying to rush that feeling, because at my position guys are coming off the board left and right and you have to speed it up. Now I can also take my time and spend more time getting to know coaches.”