Larry Burton (Syndicated Writer)
Everyone knows Nick Saban knows talent and is not afraid to offer an athlete that no one else has offered. Such people almost always seem to work out and become stars.
So with that in mind, coaches always examine players Saban offers because they don't want to miss out on an athlete they didn't know about and as a result lots of teams, usually dozens, end up offering the athlete as well.
Therefore, sometimes Saban likes to keep players under the radar until he's had a chance to build up a lot of rapport with them first.
Such was the case with Montravius Adams, a 6'3'', 291-pound defensive lineman from Vienna, Georgia.
This past summer, Adams came to a football camp in Tuscaloosa and coaches Saban and Smart instantly saw a jewel, but still in the rough for the next level. Both have kept in contact with him ever since and his relationship with Smart is now very close.
They would have liked to have kept his talent hidden, but this year his explosiveness off the line and great first move was enough to have a lot of people notice him and those that missed are now seeing his stock rise from the practice reports coming from RisingSeniors.Com that are sponsoring the Junior Bowl.
The Georgia Junior Bowl will be the first All-Star football game showcasing the top high school football players in the state of Georgia. It was formed to enhance student athletes recruiting exposure before their senior year and to aide in the their development academically, athletically and socially according to their website.
And in practices for that game, Adams is really showing off. Clemson has already offered the 2013 recruit and others are lining up to do the same now.
Once they heard the reports of Adams, saw some video of him and read that he had 45 tackles for loss last season, and yes, you read that right. Not 45 tackles, which would have been a fine season, but 45 tackles in the opposing team's backfield. And in case you're wondering, that doesn't include his 10 sacks. In all he totaled up 85 tackles.
Those are just wicked numbers due to his quick burst off the ball and ability to penetrate and get past offensive linemen. And he still has yet to get serious in the weight room, where now he benches just 315 pounds and most college defensive linemen bench somewhere around 350 to 400.
Usually he's a defensive tackle, who stuffs the run and on third-down passing situations he can move to defensive end and line up as a pass-rushing specialist.
His Dooley County High School coach Jimmy Hughes knows that this was never a secret Saban was going to keep quiet too long, even though the Dooley County Bobcats lost a conference championship game and then a state playoff game to end the season.
His coach feels he's destined to be one the top recruits to come out of Georgia next year and that the sky is the limit for what he can do next year.
And Saban is all aware of what he could do for the Tide. But now, all the others know what he could do for their teams, too.
And so goes the recruiting wars.