July 21, 2010
Tide wraps up camp
The Alabama Crimson Tide wrapped up its final day of the final camp session of the summer, an event which drew an incredible collection of talent from across the country.
Junior QB shines
The class of 2012 promises to be a major year for quarterbacks for the Crimson Tide and Hueytown star Jameis Winston is among the top targets on the board at the position. Winston was on hand Monday to work with the collection of elite receivers during drills.
"I just came down for Monday afternoon but I had a great time, like I always do in Tuscaloosa," Winston said. "I threw the ball around a little and worked on some basic techniques, especially my footwork. Coach Mac [Jim McElwain] is great at helping you figure out how to correct little things you're doing wrong."
While Winston impressed many with his arm at the camp, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound star was equally impressed as well by some of the other top performers at the camp.
"There were some really amazing athletes there. Nickalos Brassell from Mississippi was absolutely flying and Justin Thomas who is the quarterback at Prattville was also really impressive. He was running times in the 40 that we just couldn't believe but he did it over and over."
Winston had a chance to speak one-on-one with the Tide coaches following the day's events.
"I talked to Coach Sal and Coach Saban before I left and we talked about focusing on continuing to get better and develop every day and never settling and being satisfied with where I am. I was watching Coach Saban's press conference today and he said a lot of the same things. He's not focused on repeating or acting like they are still champions. He wants to focus on getting better every day."
"We also talked about baseball a lot too. Those guys love baseball just like I do. I'd love to be able to play both in college, even though football is my first love. Coach Saban told me if I come to Alabama I can play both which is definitely good to hear."
While the summer is coming to a close, Winston still has plenty of activity on his schedule before he begins fall camp with his high school squad.
"I'm headed to a 7-on-7 in Georgia tomorrow and then to Friday Night Lights in Gainesville this weekend. I also just got an offer from Florida State so I think I'm going to swing by there on my way back from Florida and meet with the coaches."
Georgia 2012 QB picks up offer
Winston wasn't the only 2012 quarterback to make a strong impression at the camp as Jesup (GA) Wayne County star Greyson Lambert made an impressive showing and left Tuscaloosa with his first scholarship offer.
"I was at Alabama all four days, and it went great," Lambert said. "All of the coaches were very nice, the campers were very talented and it was just a great experience. I met a lot of new friends like Jameis Winston who was another quarterback with a great arm and just a real cool guy."
"After the camp was over, Coach Saban offered me a scholarship. He told me I am only going to get bigger, faster and strong, and they see me developing into an excellent quarterback. He said they really want me to be a part of their 2012 class. Coach (Jim) McElwain liked my footwork and arm strength, and I learned so much in just four days working with him."
While the 6-foot-5, 183-pound signal caller has spent nearly his entire life in Georgia, he has roots in Alabama as well as family ties to the program.
"I was born in Mobile but we moved to Georgia when I was two. My whole family pretty much lives in Alabama and are big Alabama fans. I liked Georgia too since I lived over here and my friends liked them. Really my dad and I just like the whole SEC, but I have always followed Alabama. Right now they are in the lead. I will have to talk everything over with my family as far as making a decision. I really haven't thought about it too much."
Tide offers Mobile athlete
Another emerging 2012 star walking away from Tuscaloosa with a scholarship offer from the Tide is Faith Academy (AL) athlete Chris Casher, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound multi-talented star who recently picked up an offer from Auburn as well.
"The high point for me was obviously getting that Alabama offer," Casher said of the trip. "Coach Saban and I were talking about positions and he asked me what I wanted to play. I told him it didn't matter to me, and he said it didn't matter to him either as long as I was at Alabama. Then he told me he was offering me a scholarship. It was big news. I have always liked Alabama and felt like they were a big-time program that could help me develop into a NFL prospect."
"I worked at Jack linebacker pretty much the whole time. I picked up a lot of stuff from Coach Smart and Coach Sunseri that I can carry back with me and apply at Faith Academy. I play mainly defensive end at Faith, but I will play more linebacker this year."
Casher also developed new relationships with some of the other elite prospects at the camp.
"I became pretty good friends with Xzavier Dickson. He was working out in my group and he is real good. Just quick and physical. He likes Alabama a lot."
Like many of the other prospects at the camp, the record-breaking heat throughout the week gave Casher some trouble.
"I cramped up a little bit and had to have an IV. I think 21 or 22 of the players at the camp cramped up at some time or the other. The heat was bad, and they worked us hard but if you are going to play in the SEC, you just have to deal with that."
While Casher has family ties to the Auburn Tigers, right now the junior prospect says that both schools are equal in his eyes.
"My cousin Larry Casher played at Auburn so I like both schools a lot. I don't really have a favorite between the two. I just like both of them for different reasons.
Mississippi OT misses camp
One player expected to be in Tuscaloosa for the camp that didn't make it was Jackson (MS) Callaway offensive tackle Aaron Morris. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound lineman holds an offer from the Tide along with three other SEC schools but due to last minute issues was not able to make the trip for the Tide's camp.
"I was looking forward to the camp but unfortunately my mom had some car trouble at the last minute and we weren't able to go," said Morris. "I am disappointed I didn't make it but I will definitely get down to Alabama at some point this fall."
While Morris wasn't able to make it to Tuscaloosa this summer, the four-star tackle plans on coming to Tuscaloosa for an official visit during the season.
"Right now, Alabama is right up there with Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Those are my top schools right now. They will all get official visits and hopefully I will be able to make a decision pretty quickly after the season is over."
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