Football: Averett commits to Alabama


Woodbury junior Anthony Averett said Alabama "felt like home."

Averett, a 6-1, 180-pound athlete, attended Alabama's annual spring game on Saturday.

"Must have been like 90,000 people there," Averett said. "It was crazy."

Averett said he committed to attend Alabama before returning home on Sunday. He is projected as a cornerback for the defending national champions, probably the No. 1 program in the country right now.

"I love the way they play defense," Averett said. "They attack."

Averett is a quarterback and defensive back at Woodbury. He's a top athlete who has won the outdoor Meet of Champions in the long jump (23 feet, 3/4 inches) and also has won indoor Group 1 track titles in the 55-meter dash (6.51 seconds) and the high jump (6 feet, 6 inches).

"He's a special talent," Woodbury coach Zach Valentine said.

Averett can't sign with Alabama until National Signing Day, the first February of 2013.

Valentine said Alabama has been recruiting Averett since two days after the Crimson Tide won the national title Jan. 9 with a 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS championship game.

Averett said he spoke with Alabama coach Nick Saban on the phone shortly after Alabama made an offer and again during his weekend visit to Tuscaloosa.

"He was the only head coach I talked with," said Averett, who drew heavy recruiting interest from Penn State, Iowa, Tennessee and South Carolina, among other programs.

Averett, who lives in Glassboro but attend Woodbury because his mothers works in the Woodbury school system, is close friends with Glassboro running back Corey Clement, who set the South Jersey rushing record last season with more than 2,500 yards.

Clement also is drawing major recruiting interest with offers from Florida State, Ohio State and Rutgers, among others.

There was speculation that Averett and Clement were planning to attend college together. But Averett said he felt like Alabama was right for him and he needed to make a decision.

"I know he's going to make the decision that's right for him," Averett said.

Averett said he plans to major in physical therapy at Alabama.

-- Phil Anastasia

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