May 2, 2011

Miss. DE intrigued by Alabama

HOMEWOOD | The University of Alabama recently picked up a commitment from Daphne native Ryan Anderson, who was recruited to play the Jack linebacker position for the Crimson Tide, but that doesn't mean UA is done recruiting the position for the 2012 class.

The Alabama coaching staff has picked up its efforts with Aberdeen, Miss., defensive end Channing Ward. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound prospect said most schools are targeting him as an end, but Alabama wants him to play the Jack.

"They've got a good program, a winning program with good coaching," Ward said. "They've been trying to get me to come to their school, meet the coaches, meet some of the players and see how the environment is."

UA assistant coach Jeff Stoutland has served as Ward's main recruiter, but the Mississippi native recently received a phone call from Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, who told Ward he wants him to visit.

Ward visited Tuscaloosa last fall for the Penn State game.

"It was a great atmosphere," Ward said. "The fans were really into the game. I just wish it would've been a closer game because it would've been more intense."

The Aberdeen High School star recently picked up a scholarship offer from Miami, giving him a total of 16 offers. He plans to visit Auburn and LSU soon and said Alabama and Mississippi State are recruiting him the hardest.

Ward said he is looking for a good graduation rate, good coaches and a good vibe. It also didn't hurt that Alabama had four players picked in the first round of the NFL Draft last week.

"It looks good when you have four players go in the first round of the draft and two of them in the top 15," Ward said. "It looks real good."

Ward is in the process of scheduling a trip to UA, and he also may visit for the Crimson Tide's camp this summer.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at greg@tidesports.com.





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