On Wednesday, Oxford High School teammates Ulric Jones and Racean Thomas visited the University of Alabama with their head coach John Grass to watch the Crimson Tide’s spring practice.
It was an opportunity for the two in-state stars to not only watch Alabama work out in person, but to also take back some of what they saw to their own school.
“I saw stuff that we do, and I saw stuff that we don’t do but that we should do to improve,” Jones said. “As far as the drills they do, I think it would help our team out a good bit because the stuff they work on is things that our team lacks.”
For Jones, a 2013 prospect, it was the first UA practice he’s attended. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound junior watched the defensive line because that’s where he plays at Oxford, and Alabama likes him as a defensive end in its 3-4 defense.
“The defensive line looked just as good as they did last year,” Jones said. “They’re big. They got some size this year. Last year, I think that’s what they lacked.”
Jones has offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, South Alabama and Troy, but he says the two major in-state schools, Alabama and Auburn, as well as Mississippi State stand out as his early favorites.
Alabama: “They have a winning team and the best defense in the nation. That’s all you can say about them.”
Auburn: “It’s just a great atmosphere. It’s just a great place to be.”
Mississippi State: “I keep in contact with their coaches a lot, and I’m starting to like what I hear.”
Thomas, a 2014 running back, is also high on the Crimson Tide and the Tigers early in the process. Both he and Jones are expected to visit Auburn on Saturday.
Alabama 2012 signee Caleb Gulledge was also in attendance for the Tide’s practice on Wednesday. The Prattville High School star watched both the offensive line and defensive line because he could play on either side when he gets to Tuscaloosa.