- Corey Long, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Pensacola (Fla.) Washington defensive lineman Darius Paige committed to Alabama this past Friday after Crimson Tide coaches came by his school on a visit.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect becomes the 13th commitment for the Crimson Tide in the Class of 2013.
"I was offered by Alabama in late January and the coaches came back on Wednesday to see if I was ready to commit," Paige said. "I went home and thought about it with my family for a couple of days before making the decision.
"Alabama always felt like a good fit to me and now I've lifted a weight off my shoulders and can focus on my senior season."
Paige had offers from Louisville, Kentucky, UConn, Florida International, Arkansas State, Tennessee State and South Alabama.
If Paige sticks with his commitment he will be the latest in a strong group of Alabama signees that hail from Florida's panhandle. The most well-known player of that group is recent first-round draft choice Trent Richardson, who played at Pensacola Escambia.
"The Pensacola players have definitely made a mark at Alabama and Trent Richardson took it to another level," Paige said. "I just want to work hard and one day hopefully the fans at Alabama can talk about Darius Paige the way they talk about Trent Richardson now."
Paige said he is going to visit Alabama again over the summer and expects to stay committed for the long haul. He is going to work on having his teammate, wide receiver Dejon Funderburk, join him in Tuscaloosa. Funderburk was offered by the Tide at the start of 2012.
"Hopefully he can join me at Alabama so we can keep the pipeline going," Paige added. "We're really good friends so I'm going to talk with him about it."