August 2, 2006

Decatur's Dynamic Duo

Entering the 2007 recruiting season, it was obvious that Decatur High School was home to arguably the best prep football and basketball player in the state of Alabama. Red Raider linebacker Rolando McClain had been one of the most talked about gridiron prospects in the state while his best friend and basketball teammate, Rico Pickett, climbed to the top after a strong junior season while leading Decatur to the state playoffs.

Alabama was one of the first big offers from Pickett, a 6-foot-4, 170-pound point guard, and in February he took Tide head coach Mark Gottfried up on the offer. When he committed to the Alabama staff, Pickett was a relative unknown but his April performance on the AAU circuit saw his stock rise. He debuted as the No. 60 overall prospect in the Rivals150 and his recent efforts will probably lead to his ranking rising even higher.

McClain, who stands 6-foot-4 and is 240 pounds, was on the other side of the coin and after he followed his stellar sophomore season with 104 tackles in his junior campaign, the college coaches came calling. Alabama and Auburn were two of the first schools to offer and the battle for his signature came down to the two in-state powers. While many thought his recruitment would drag closer to Signing Day, the outside linebacker surprised everyone by choosing Alabama in June fresh off a trip to the Plains.

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