- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Jim McElwain did not wait to make his best pitch to receiver Jester Weah (Madison, Wis./Madison Memorial). The Colorado State coach came out with guns blazing.
“You can be our version of Julio Jones,” McElwain told Weah.
McElwain is the former Alabama offensive coordinator and coached Jones to a top-10 NFL draft pick. Weah is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound receiver with 4.54 speed.
“When I first met him and his wife Friday, they said I remind them of Julio Jones. That shocked me,” said Weah, who officially visited the Rams this past weekend. “I felt really good after he said that because Julio Jones is a star receiver in the NFL.”
While at Alabama, McElwain won two national championships before heading to Colorado State before the 2012 season. During the 2000s, Colorado State had several successful seasons that ended with bowl trips. McElwain told Weah he wouldn’t have left Alabama if he didn’t feel Colorado State could compete for conference titles.
“I asked him a couple questions and he said Colorado State was a top-25 team,” Weah said. “He said if it was possible in the past it can happen again. Why would he leave Alabama to come here? He knew he could make this a top team again.”
An in-home visit from McElwain will come later this winter as McElwain wants to watch Weah at a basketball game at his high school, too. Receivers coach Alvis Whitted will be making an in-home visit with Weah on Wednesday, though.
Weah and Whitted spoke a few times before, but this was a chance for the two to strengthen their relationship.
“He’s a real great guy,” Weah said. “He played in the pros and has so much experience in the game. He sounds like a great teacher and a fantastic guy.”
The Rams entered the weekend as Weah’s top choice among the programs to offer but No. 3 behind nearby Wisconsin and Pitt, which he unofficially visited the weekend of Nov. 23. After this trip, the Rams are not trailing anyone.
“They’re definitely at the top of my list,” he said. “It’s a great school.”
487dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert