football

Alabama shakes things up for Nealy

Monticello (Fla.) Jefferson County all-purpose back DeVondrick Nealy got an unexpected visitor this week when a member of the Alabama staff stopped by to see him.
"Alabama stopped by to see me earlier this week," Nealy said. "It was Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt, the defensive backs coach. He was saying that because of my size and everything like that, that I would be better off playing cornerback at the next level and to go to the next level after college."
The Crimson Tide wants to further evaluate the 5-foot-10, 175-pound athlete before officially extending an offer to him.
"They didn't offer me yet," Nealy said. "They are going to look at my film. He said they only have a few scholarships so he was going to call me back and let me know if they are going to offer me a scholarship."
The in-person visit was unexpected according to Nealy, who said that Nick Saban's team had only shown him casual interest during the process.
"They always send letters but I never really heard from them like this," Nealy said. "But they had never shown me that much interest like they did this week."
With the emergence of Alabama into the picture, it has caused a ripple effect to Nealy's recruitment.
"Alabama shakes it up," Nealy said. "Basically it is them, Arkansas, Iowa State, and Michigan."
According to Nealy, Alabama is the only school primarily recruiting him for defense, while the other three are interested in using him as an all-purpose running back. In speaking with him, it is apparent that Coach Pruitt's pitch made an impact.
"I would rather go with what he is saying and play defensive back," Nealy said. "Because of my size and speed, I would rather go to defensive back. That is probably the position I am going to have to play because I can't be an every down (running) back."
With Jefferson County deep in the state playoffs, Nealy isn't going to hit the road for any official visits at this time. He has previously taken an official to Michigan and said that he will take his remaining visits in due time.
"I am going to take them after we are done," Nealy said. "We basically have one more week and I will take them after everything is done."
At this point, Nealy's favorites are in an order but he would prefer to keep that to himself.
"They are in order but I just don't really want to name them," Nealy said. "All four of them are good schools, they are battling it out."
Jefferson County faces South Daytona (Fla.) Warner Christian in the regional semifinals this Friday. Entering that game, Nealy has rushed for 2,543 yards and 37 touchdowns. After the season concludes, Nealy is going to participate in the FACA North-South All-Star Game.
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