Alabama has not offered Joey Alfieri. The Tide hasn't been in contact. Nick Saban is not pursuing the Portland (Ore.) Jesuit High School linebacker. And, as it turns out, Alfieri is one of the few players in the country that's just fine with that.
It's not a slam on the Tide at all. It's just his opinion.
"I want to go to a place where I'll get playing time. I don't want to go to a place like Alabama, where I'll just ride the bench the whole four years," Alfieri said on Sunday. "If I can relate to the coaching staff, that's a plus too. really hard to explain how I'll choose. I'll just kind of know."
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Academics are also important to the four-star junior, who is torn between business and medicine as a post-graduate profession. And that, it seems, is what makes schools like California and Stanford appealing.
"It's a great school academically and a great location," Alfieri said of Cal. "Overall, it's a great school for both academics and sports."
Alfieri has been invited to the Golden Bears' junior day on Mar 2, and an offer could very well present itself there. Cal coaches have stopped by Alfieri's high school in the past , even though they were prohibited from engaging the linebacker in conversation.
That said, things on that front seem to be getting serious.
"Cal is calling it an elite junior day," Alfieri said. "I don't know if that's different from a regular junior day or what, but I'm excited to go out there."
As for Stanford's involvement, it's pretty much the same song. Alfieri has an unofficial visit to Palo Alto planned for the summer. The Cardinal has been interested in the Oregon-based star for some time, so the upcoming trip represents the next step in that relationship.
What happens after that, however, is anyone's guess.
"It's a camp and junior day at Stanford on June 18," Alfieri said. "I'll be going to that for sure. It's the only other one besides Cal I am for sure going to.
"I don't know if they're going to offer or not."
Already with two offers (Washington and Oregon State) in hand, Alfieri names no favorite. Both of his parents attended Oregon State, but that tie doesn't seem as strong as it once was.
"Naturally, I was a Beaver fan growing up because I watched the games and stuff," Alfieri said. "But I kind of grew out of being a big Beaver fan. I'm not a diehard or anything."
As a junior at Jesuit, Alfieri, a two-way player, helped the Crusaders to a 12-3 overall record and an appearance in the state semifinals.