Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio, the nation's No. 10 player and the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country, took his first official visit to Alabama this weekend to check out the Tide and catch up with his brother, freshman Arie Kouandjio.
"The visit was good, it was a lot of eating and a lot of touring," said the 6-foot-7, 322-pounder. "I didn't really learn a lot more than what I already knew about Alabama since I've been there a couple of times, but it was good to be able to meet some new people and get to know the players better."
Kouandjio was hosted by Keiwone Malone and not his brother. Odd? Not really.
"I know my brother," he laughed. "We caught up and it was great to see him, but we don't really talk football or recruiting or anything like that. So it's good to get to meet a lot of other players who I can ask questions and try to get a feel for what it's like down there. I learned a lot about what it's like to be a player at Alabama so that was good."
And Cyrus got the answer to the biggest question on his mind. Would he be competing with his brother for a job, something that could be a deal breaker for the duo.
"My main question was how they would handle us since we are both offensive linemen and could be competing at tackle," he said. "Their answer was good and I felt they were honest. They told me that Arie and I are different players and it's like comparing apples to oranges. He's more of a right tackle/right guard type and I'm more of a left tackle type, longer, athletic. They said we wouldn't be competing on the same side of the line so that was good."
Many have speculated that Alabama was the clear leader for Kouandjio since the day his brother committed to the Tide last year. Did this visit put them in front for good?
"No, it's nothing like that," he said. "I honestly don't have a leader. I have four more officials to take and people who know me and Arie and my family know that I'm not going to pick a school just because my brother is there. He wouldn't want me to do that and I wouldn't make a decision based on that."
Next up for Cyrus is an official to New Mexico this weekend.
"Coach Locksley has my respect and he's done a great job of recruiting this area for years," he said. "There are a lot of Maryland players out there, guys I know and I've been there before so I'm looking forward to it."
Kouandjio will likely wait until January to take his final three visits. Right now Iowa and USC will get visits for sure and Miami remains in there for No. 5 for now.
"I'll keep Miami in there until things settle down," he said. "It could be UCLA or someone else if Miami falls off, but I'm taking all five of my visits for sure. I want to make the most informed decision I can make."