Looking Back at Former Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix's Recruitment
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is expected to be one of the first defensive backs drafted during the opening round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Clinton-Dix had a great career at Alabama, where he was tutored by head coach Nick Saban. The Florida native will come into the NFL ready to play, as he is a smart player who knows his assignments.
Before Clinton-Dix became a first-round talent in Tuscaloosa, he went through the recruiting process as a high school player. Come see how his recruitment unfolded a few years ago.
Where He Was Ranked in High School
Clinton-Dix is an Orlando native who played for Dr. Phillips High School in Florida. He was a member of the 2011 class and was considered a 5-star safety and No. 7 recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Scout 300 and Rivals 250.
Top NFL draft prospects such as defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan and receiver Sammy Watkins were also top recruits during that year.
Schools in the Mix
In January 2010, Clinton-Dix told Shane Youngblood of TideSports.com (subscription required) that he didn't grow up rooting for any college team, while also claiming offers from Florida State, Alabama, Florida and Michigan.
Florida State, Alabama and Florida were standing out to Clinton-Dix in February 2010, per a report by Michael Langston of FlaVarsity.com (subscription required). However, the talented safety told USCFootball.com (subscription required) in March 2010 that he wished to leave the state of Florida.
Clinton-Dix was close to narrowing his list in the spring of 2010 when he told Jake Brown of IrishIllustrated.com (subscription required) that Notre Dame was also in the mix.
Jamie Newberg of Rivals.com (subscription required) wrote in March 2010, "The hot recruiting rumor is that Florida State could very well be the team to beat for Clinton-Dix."
Perhaps the most significant development for Clinton-Dix's recruitment was an unofficial spring visit to Alabama. He gushed about 'Bama to Shane Youngblood of TideSports.com (subscription required) in April 2010.
Clinton-Dix met with the coaching staff in Tuscaloosa and even sat in on a defensive backs meeting. This trip distanced Alabama from the other schools in the mix.
He reported an offer from LSU in April 2010 to William Weathers of TigerBait.com (subscription required). Yet, he maintained Alabama as his leader even after a good visit to Florida State, according to Lee Gordon of Warchant.com (subscription required).
Alabama had its "A-Day" spring game in the middle of April 2010, which is the same time Clinton-Dix informed the Crimson Tide's coaches he was committing to play for them, per Shane Youngblood of TideSports.com.
'Bama built a big lead with Clinton-Dix during the spring, and it eventually became obvious he would end up in Tuscaloosa.
However, Justin Wells of GatorBait.net reported in November 2010 that Clinton-Dix told him he had officially visited Michigan and had scheduled an official visit to Florida State.
Yet nothing stopped him from signing with Alabama.
Clinton-Dix went on to intercept seven passes, defend another 15 balls and total 99 tackles in three seasons for Alabama, according to Sports-Reference.com.
He helped Alabama win two national championships, while earning first-team All-SEC honors in 2013. Today, Clinton-Dix is viewed as a first-round talent at safety who is expected to hear his name called before the end of the initial round of the NFL draft on Thursday.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.