January 19, 2011

Rome visits Alabama, nearing announcement

Despite being in the midst of a busy basketball schedule, Valdosta (GA) tight end Jay Rome found time to take an official visit to Alabama over the extended weekend. Rome joined a number of elite prospects in Tuscaloosa, including his Valdosta High teammate, Malcolm Mitchell.

"We went to Alabama this weekend," said Stan Rome, Jay's father. "We had a basketball game Saturday night, so we got started on Sunday morning and got home late Monday night. It went pretty good. It's hard to tell. Jay didn't talk very much about it. One of his teammates went missing this past Saturday on a hunting trip, so Jay was sort of subdued this weekend. Everybody in Valdosta is still very shaken up about it. It's been extremely tough."

Rome is set to make his decision tomorrow on national television.

"He's going to make his announcement on Thursday on ESPNU on the show that airs from 5:30 to 6:30," said Mr. Rome. "It will be either Alabama or Georgia. I'm going to try to talk him out of doing the hat thing. It's kind of cliché. I'd like to see him not do that, but it will be totally up to him.

"Both of them are tremendous schools. I don't think he could go wrong with either one of them. Only Jay knows at this point, and I'm not sure he completely knows. He was set to make the decision before and we weren't going to go on any more trips, but at the last minute he decided he wanted to visit Alabama. There were a number of prospects from Georgia going up to Alabama this past weekend."

Each program stands out in its own way, says Mr. Rome.

"With Alabama, it's the success they've had," he said. "Everything at Alabama, their facilities, and the programs they have in place, especially for academics are top notch.

"Georgia is the home state school. He's leaned towards Georgia for some time now. He's built relationships with the coaching staff, quite a few of the players there, and even some of the recruits. I think they still have hopes of landing some of those "Dream Team" players."

Malcolm Mitchell is also slated to announce his choice Thursday night around 7 PM. Like Rome, Mitchell will be choosing between Alabama and Georgia.

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