October 5, 2010
Tide makes great impression on UF pledge
Among the huge group of visitors to Tuscaloosa over the weekend was a current Florida Gator commitment, Jacksonville (FL) University Christian tight end A.C. Leonard. The 6-foot-2, 232-pound playmaker came to town on an official visit looking to learn more about Alabama while also getting a chance to catch the Gators challenging the nation's top team but ended up being surprised with what he saw both on and off the field.
"The visit was a real eye opening experience for me," Leonard said. "Alabama is all about big-time football, and I was really impressed with just about everything I saw in Tuscaloosa. The facilities were great, the fans were great and the whole experience was first class. The highlight of the visit was definitely the game and being able to get field level to see the players warm-up and just to hear the crowd."
"My host was Blake Sims. He was a real cool dude. I think the number one thing Blake did was that he gave me all the information I needed to know straight up. He told me the positives and the negatives which I appreciated. As far as negatives, it wasn't really anything even bad. Just that the program demands you bring your best everyday or else you can go home. That is how I like it."
After watching the Tide pull off a shockingly dominant win over the Gators on Saturday night, the four-star prospect got a chance to visit with head coach Nick Saban on Sunday before heading home.
"I talked with Coach Saban Sunday morning at breakfast and he basically told me that they really wanted me in Tuscaloosa. Alabama likes me as a Courtney Upshaw-type defense end that can rush the passer and bring a lot of energy and excitement up front. I really liked everything he had to say and the plan he would have for me. The visit with Coach Saban was real nice. You don't see that side of him on television, but he is a down to earth guy."
At the moment, Leonard isn't ready to make any changes to his commitment status but he said the visit has definitely given him something to think about going forward.
"I can't say for sure how the trip affects my recruitment. I am just going to take it one day at a time. I definitely want to get back to another Alabama game this fall. They left a good impression on me, and really I just want to think about everything and let it sink in."
Leonard committed to Florida back in November, but has maintained he will take his official visits. He has visited Nebraska already and will likely take an official visit to Miami as well.
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