Gerald West, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound three-star cornerback from Davidson High School in Mobile, Ala., has been offered by every school in the SEC plus a few others (approximately 15 total).
West said he still favors Alabama slightly over Southern Miss, Arkansas, South Carolina and South Florida and all five have offered. "Alabama was my first offer (in March)," West said.
"I really like Nick Saban," he said. "Me and him got along real good. He really shows that he cares and always asks me about my family and stuff. I also think that he's one of the best at coaching cornerbacks and I think I could learn a lot from him."
The Tide are only about three and half hours from West's home and he's already attended their camp last month. He plans on going to another Alabama camp on July 21 and says he's looking forward to seeing them play this season.
"I want to see how they are going to do," West said. "They had a great recruiting season and got basically all the best Alabama players in '08, so I just want to see who stands out."
West also attended camps at Auburn, LSU and Southern Miss in June.
"Southern Miss has one of the best camps I went to," he said. "They told me that I can come in and start as a freshman and I liked hearing that.
"I like the environment at Southern Miss and how the coaches were real easy to get along with," West said. "They were intense and took care of business at the camp, but still had fun. They took time with all of us and seemed to really want to help us."
Despite growing up in Alabama, West says he never followed a specific college team. "I just loved the game of football," he said. "But my favorite NFL team is the Patriots.
"Growing up, I idolized Deion Sanders and then I became a real big Sean Taylor fan and tried to play like him."
Ranked as the No. 37 cornerback in the country by Scout.com, West says he's going to take his time before making a decision. "I want to narrow it down to two schools by the end of the season," he said. "Then I'll make my decision after that."
West says he hopes to visit Arkansas during the summer as well. "They have a good program and I like the tradition," he said of the Razorbacks.
"I also really like (cornerback) coach Lorenzo Ward," he said. "I got a good first impression from him and you know what they say about first impressions. The first time I talked with him he talked about academics and stuff and we didn't even talk about football until like an hour later. My mom really liked that.
"I'm also excited to see how they are going to do," he said. "They lost some big time players, but the coaches are good and they shouldn't drop off too much. But I'm not expecting them to do as good as they did last year."
If time permits, West would also like to see South Carolina and South Florida. "They are both schools that produce good defensive backs," West said. "I'm really only looking at schools that have a history of sending defensive backs to the NFL.
"South Carolina also has great coaches and South Florida is still young and getting better, so I could probably play early there," he said.
"I want to make sure I feel at home and blend into the environment," he said. "I'll also check out the academics because that's important.
"I'll also be looking at the depth charts and make sure they actually need corners," West said. "I also want to play on a defense that is man coverage and not zone. Those are the basic things I'm looking for."
West finished his junior season with 56 tackles and seven interceptions. He says he can bench 275-pounds, squat 405 and has a 36-inch vertical jump.
"I got quick feet and good hips," West said. "I can run fast and I'm able to position myself to get the interception. I react well to the ball and I have real good technique."
Although he says that making interceptions is a strength, West also admits he wants to improve his hands. "I want to work on my catching," he said. "I have reasonable hands, but they can still get better. I have high expectations for myself and I don't feel they are excellent yet."
West says he does a lot of hand/eye drills to improve his coordination and reactions.
He reports a 2.5 core GPA and took the ACT on June 14, but still hasn't received his score. He'll be taking summer school (Geometry B).