Alabama commit Miller Forristall is a 3-star tight end from Cartersville High School whose side job is working at his dad’s martial arts business, Atlanta Budokan.
He even taught a class for kids the morning of his visit to Alabama for the game against Ole Miss.
“Mainly the stand-up has helped me a lot, and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has helped me with conditioning,” he said. “Your hands are always on another human being. You’re pushing and pulling against their will, and that’s a lot of hand on hand strength, which is just football strength at the same time.”
Forristall started out at Cartersville as a quarterback, but moved to tight end after an injury during his junior season. Instead of returning to split reps at quarterback, he and his coaches decided that it’d be in his best interest to switch to tight end.
Alabama tight ends coach Bobby Williams saw Forristall during spring practice and invited him to camp for Alabama. After the workout, Forristall was told he had a meeting with Alabama coach Nick Saban. Alabama offered him a scholarship and he committed a week later.
Here are a few things you should know about Forristall:
Who finished runner-up to Alabama? “Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi State and California. I wanted to go play at the biggest and the best college football I can. At the time, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to go play at the University of Alabama or anywhere in the SEC.”
How was your conversation with Alabama coach Nick Saban: “Just to think that two months before I had been visiting Jacksonville State. Nothing against Jacksonville State — they should’ve beat Auburn, but sitting in front of Saban was kind of terrifying. He’s the most powerful man in college football. It was very surreal, but it was a lot of fun. Crazy, but fun.”
How was your conversation with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh: “I got a call from coach Jim Harbaugh on my way to commit to Alabama. Because I came onto the scene so late and I picked up most of my offers in a two-month span… he said ‘I know it’s late, but we really didn’t know until last night. We love your film. We’d like to offer you a scholarship here (Michigan), I heard you’re making a decision soon so I hope you keep that in mind.’”
How did martial arts help you as a football player? “I’ve been doing it since I was a little kid, and that’s played a big role in me being more coordinated. Middle school. I was super uncoordinated. I was that tall goofy kid, super skinny, super uncoordinated and by my eighth grade year I got really coordinated. It was the more I was in my dad’s business, the more coordinated I got. It’s how I got all of my footwork and hand-eye coordination.”
Have any of your family members played collegiate sports: “My dad (Shawn Forristall) played at Cal State Fullerton. He played inside linebacker.”
— By Thomas Scott, Special for SEC Country