AUBURN, Ala. — A picture on Twitter of Alabama offensive tackle commit Alex Leatherwood in a Florida jersey caused a firestorm online.
Leatherwood, the five-star prospect from Booker T. Washington High School (Pensacola, Fla.), tweeted earlier this week that he would possibly visit Florida this weekend. That trip did not happen.
But what caused the confusion online was the fact that Leatherwood tweeted a picture of himself in a Florida jersey on campus, making it appear that he did in fact travel to Gainesville.
Reports surfaced Saturday that Leatherwood had not visited the school this weekend. The recruit said it was just a big misunderstanding.
“I never told reporters that I was going to Florida,” Leatherwood told SEC Country. “Like I said in a tweet a couple of days ago, I said I may be going to Florida. I have some family members there (in Gainesville). My family and I were going to go there to handle some business and it turned out that we didn’t need to go anymore.”
The 6-foot-5, 297-pounder said he received quite a bit of negative backlash from Gators fans for posting the picture and making it seem like he was on campus.
“That picture was from my last visit,” Leatherwood said. “Nowhere did I say, ‘Hey, I’m at Florida.’ It was just meant to say, ‘Hey, I like Florida.’ The way the fans reacted gave me an impression that I did not like.”
The picture was just meant to show Florida fans that he was still interested in the school despite his commitment to Alabama, he says.
The Under Armour All-American did visit Auburn this weekend, though. It was his second trip to the school in recent weeks, but Alabama fans have nothing to worry about. His commitment to the Tide is 100 percent firm.
“I’m just enjoying my recruitment and (Auburn offensive line target) Nick (Brahms) is a very good friend of mine and he wanted to take a visit here and I came with him. If I didn’t want to go to Alabama, I wouldn’t be committed.”
To those Crimson Tide fans that may worry about his status with the school, Leatherwood gave a simple message right before the interview ended.
“Roll Tide Roll.”
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.