January 5, 2012

Decision day for three Tide targets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. | The 2012 Under Armour All-America Game features five University of Alabama commitments, and that number could grow even higher as three of the Crimson Tide's top remaining targets will announce their decisions during tonight's game.

Rivals.com five-star Landon Collins, and four-stars Cyrus Jones and Channing Ward each have Alabama among their top remaining schools, and all three will choose their future destination tonight.

Collins, a native of Geismar, La., will pick between Alabama and LSU as the two teams prepare to face off in the BCS National Championship Game on Monday. He notified both coaching staffs of his decision on Wednesday night.

"I made my decision," Collins said. "I'm just ready to get the process over with. It gets stressful after awhile. Being down here, it got kind of stressful getting a lot of questions from all of the players and trying to keep it to yourself.

"It's going to feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. It's going to feel tremendous. Knowing that I'm going there, they're going to be ready for me to come in, get me ready and get me started. That's going to be great."

For most recruits, telling a coaching staff you're not going to school there is never easy, but that's not necessarily the case for Collins. He believes that the staff that loses out on him will still be happy for him and won't stop recruiting him.

"I think they're going to still be there no matter what, and they're probably still going to recruit me in the process and try to get me to change my decision," Collins said. "They always told me no matter what, they're going to be my biggest fans."

As of Wednesday's Under Armour practice, Jones had already made his decision and informed both coaching staffs of where he was going to school. The Baltimore native will choose between Alabama and Virginia Tech at tonight's game.

"I'm just ready to get it over with," Jones said. "It's been a long process. I'm ready to be done."

Jones said the staff that found out they were getting the Rivals250 star was elated with the news.

"They were real excited," he said. "They pretty much knew they were one of my top two teams, so it was either going to be them or the other school. It was a 50-50 chance, and they were just happy that 50 was them."

Ward, the third and final Alabama target to announce tonight, has narrowed his list to Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, eliminating Auburn and LSU earlier this week.

The Rivals250 defensive end from Mississippi said he was going to make his decision on Wednesday and also planned to let each coaching staff know of his intentions before the game.

"I'll probably call them and let them know ahead of (his public announcement)," Ward said. "It's going to be a good (call) for whoever gets it."

Stay tuned to TideSports.com for coverage of all three announcements from the game.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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