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Friday, April 19, 2013
LB Garrett visits Bama, receives offer

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) had never been to the University of Alabama. He’d never even been in the state of Alabama. On Friday, the ESPN 150 linebacker made a stop in Tuscaloosa on his way to LSU for the Tigers’ spring game.

“Everything went great,” Garrett said. “It was really smooth. Once we got in, our host took us around, showed us the weight room and all that stuff. That just blew me away. That was the best weight room that I’ve probably ever seen.

“People talk about the 33rd NFL team. Alabama really is the 33rd NFL team. It’s basically an NFL-producing team.”

On the trip, Garrett sat down with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who would be his future position coach. He also spent time with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who extended a scholarship offer to play for the Crimson Tide.

“Basically, [Saban] was just telling me that I’m the top guy on their board at the linebacker position, and he wants me to come in and be in that Alabama defense,” Garrett said. “He was just introducing himself to me. It was our first time to sit down and talk. We just got a feel for each other, and it was definitely a great first interaction with each other.”

Before the trip, Alabama wasn’t one of his top choices or even on his radar, but the offer from Saban changed all that.

When I found out I got the offer, that was huge,” he said. “Initially I didn’t really have too much interest in Alabama, but I got there and I got a chance to go on the tour, see all of the facilities, and it really is a great place. They’re definitely one of the contenders on my list right now.”

Garrett also mentioned Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC as schools he’s considering. In February, he named Ohio State as a favorite. Garrett will be in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday for LSU’s spring game.