The University of Alabama has extended its search for a defensive lineman in 2013, and on Monday, the Crimson Tide reached all the way to Hawaii to offer ESPN 300 defensive tackle Scott Pagano.
“It was a great feeling,” Pagano said. “It’s a big blessing just to be a part of that family. Most kids don’t really get that chance, and I was happy to get an offer and have a chance to play for them.”
Pagano, who hails from Honolulu, has no shortage of scholarship offers. The 6-foot-3, 279-pound prospect has major offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC and many more.
Still, the Alabama offer was one he was hoping to get, and head coach Nick Saban let him know that they don’t offer just anybody.
“He’s a very serious man, very strict,” Pagano said of Saban. “He says they don’t give out scholarships for fun, and they’re very serious about what they do. He said that I’m a great player, I have a good motor, good strength and speed for my size, and he wants me to come down and play for them.”
Pagano is planning to take an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa in July as a part of a Southeast tour that includes other stops at Clemson, Florida, Florida State and LSU. He expects to narrow his list after the trip.
Hawaii may be pretty far from Tuscaloosa, but Pagano has still been able to keep tabs on the Crimson Tide, and he knows what they’ve accomplished since Saban arrived.
“I know they’ve been to the championship game two of the past three years,” he said. “Coach Saban is a defensive coach, and that’s perfect. That’s what I want in a head coach, a defensive guy. And he’s coached in the NFL, so he has great experience.”
At Alabama, Saban told Pagano he would play all over the defensive line as both a three-technique and five-technique, and he said the athletic lineman could even play outside, rushing the passer, on third-down situations.
“I like to play aggressive, relentless with a great motor,” Pagano said. “I like to create chaos in the middle, making the linemen double-team me and sometimes triple-team me. I have good speed, and I’m very athletic for my size.”
So how does a recruit from Hawaii get this type of recognition from some of the top programs in the country, including the defending national champion?
“To be honest, I don’t really know,” Pagano said. “I ask myself that question every day. I guess they see something they like about me. I’m not sure.”
Whatever it is, the offers aren’t expected to stop coming Pagano’s way anytime soon. He thinks Penn State may offer over the weekend, and Auburn may be close as well.
Pagano plans to announce his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.