Several of Alabama’s early enrollees will report later this week — before National Signing Day — and participate in on-campus bowl practices.
Offensive lineman Amari Kight won’t be one of them.
Kight will instead play in the in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and Under Armour All-American Game before arriving on campus when classes begin in January.
“I made a commitment,” Kight said when asked why he chose the all-star games over Alabama practices. “Plus, I always wanted to play in the Under Armour game since I was a little kid.”
At least three members of Alabama’s 2019 class — receiver John Metchie, from Hightown, New Jersey, and Hewitt-Trussville teammates Paul Tyson and Pierce Quick — plan to enroll later this week. That means they can’t play in any postseason high school all-star games.
Kight said it was a tough decision not to go to bowl practices, acknowledging the practice sessions can be a valuable learning experience before spring practice starts, but he emphasized his desire to honor the commitments he had made to play in the all-star games. Under Armour officials come to each player’s school to honor him as part of the game’s recruitment process.
Top-ranked Alabama plays Oklahoma on Dec. 29 in a College Football Playoff semifinal, and the team could have more on-campus bowl practices before a possible national championship game on Jan. 7.
Kight said he’s ready to get to Alabama in January.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I wouldn’t say I’m nervous. I’m more excited about competing.”
Kight, fellow Alabama commit Taulia Tagovailoa and UAB commit Will Conner — all early enrollees — were honored in a ceremony Tuesday at Thompson High in Alabaster. It’s likely the last time any will do media interviews for more than a year, as Alabama and most schools don’t make freshmen available for interviews.
All three spoke briefly to the students, teammates and teachers gathered in the school’s Performing Arts Center. How did each of the three end their remarks?
Kight: “Roll Tide.”
Conner: “Go Blazers.”
Tagovailoa: “I love you guys.”