Linebacker Petey Smith discusses James Willis moving from Auburn to Alabama and what it means for…
"The visit to Alabama went really good," said Petey Smith. "I really enjoyed the Saturday night dinner at the stadium. It was great to put on the jersey and run out on the field. I could imagine myself being there and what it would be like with all the fans there." "My host for the weekend was Star Jackson. He is a pretty cool guy. I was mainly with him and Julio Jones the whole weekend. We played Spades together and went to a party. We bonded pretty good." Smith spent a lot of time with the coaching staff with Alabama on the verge of hiring a new linebacker coach. Coach Kirby Smart and coach Nick Saban had Smith's attention for the weekend. "I got a lot of time with coach Smart," Smith said. "We talked about the different schemes with the 3-4. We have some of the same sets in high school." "He has told me they are interviewing everyone. They want to get the best guy they can. They want to see who is the best guy for the job. Coach Smart is a real fun individual. He is a football guru and goes after it pretty hard on the field." "I talked to coach Saban one-on-one. He said they really want me. They could really use me in that 3-4. He wants a bigger body in there to stop the run. He is hoping I could fulfill that dream." "He is a class act, a great man. From what I have seen he is a man of his word. He doesn't lead you the wrong way. He has a connection with the NFL and gets you ready for what you need." Smith also spent time touring the campus. "Alabama's campus and facilities are first class," he stated. "They are second to none. The weight room has a lot of stuff in it." "A new project is starting every 90 days. Coach Saban said that was the main thing he wanted to accomplish when he first arrived. So far he is a man of his word. They have new dorms and new cafeteria for the players. It's all pretty good." Smith's parents attended the official visit as well, but no mention of a brother on the trip. "My mom and dad went there with me," he said. "They loved it. They had an excellent time. They got a chance to meet coach Saban's wife. My mom and her had a ball together." The Sunshine State visitor explained what has his attention in Tuscaloosa. "I love Alabama because they are based on tradition," Smith explained. "It's a football town. It's just a great program. Academic-wise it is unbelievable. It's a family school." Smith has narrowed his focus to Alabama and Auburn. He does not name a leader between the two. The visit to The Plains this weekend will showcase their new coaching staff and hope to earn Smith's signature February 4. "I love the new coaching staff," he said. "I got a chance to talk to coach [James] Willis. We had a great relationship when coach Tuberville was there. We can catch up on old times when I get there. I have not met coach [Gene] Chizik yet." "It's a small factor that my brother is up there, but I am going to make the best decision for me. My brother could decide later on to transfer, and I'd be stuck there. I know I just have to go where I feel most comfortable." Smith expects to announce his decision January 31 at a local restuarant in Seffner at 4:00 p.m. EST.
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