Heading into his visit to Alabama this past weekend for A-Day, Will Ignont had chosen Georgia as his No. 1 school. That changed after he left Tuscaloosa.
Ignont, a four-star linebacker from Buckhorn High School (New Market, Ala.), told SEC Country that Alabama is not his official leader, but it’s clear the Crimson Tide have made a significant dent in where his recruitment stands now.
“I took a lot of big things away from that visit,” Ignont said. “Essentially, I wanted to go back on my top 10 and my top five because I have a team in my mind that I would go out and strap up for tomorrow. I’m just waiting it out now because I want to be 110 percent sure before I make that public.”
To be clear, Ignont has already given a verbal commitment to his school of choice but is waiting to go public with it to make sure that it’s the team he wants to play for.
Ignont mentioned five teams sticking out to him right now — Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan and UCLA. It’s likely one of those coaching staffs has received a verbal commitment from Ignont.
Obviously, the timing of his decision bodes well for Alabama’s chances. Ignont spoke about why he decided on this mysterious school.
“I just felt at home. It feels just like home,” Ignont said. “From the coaching staff to the graduate assistants, I love all of those guys. They’re very special to me. Every time I’m on campus, they are always showing love. I feel like I fit really well in their defensive scheme and in their future plans.”
Alabama is recruiting Ignont at inside linebacker. He’s aware that linebacker is one of the Tide’s deepest positions, but a few conversations with coach Nick Saban has eased his concerns about the possibility of not playing immediately.
“The biggest thing about Alabama is that everyone is always worried about depth,” Ignont said. “I feel like they’ll get you out on the field regardless of the depth chart. Everyone is always worried about playing as a freshman. That’s fine, but the thing that Coach Saban has said many times, and it really sticks out to me, when NFL guys go there, they don’t look for freshman and sophomore film. They ask for the junior and senior film to see how developed you are. That’s big for me and makes a whole lot of sense.”
My guy right here ‼️ Roll Tide Roll ? pic.twitter.com/tEH0nRBRZh
— RiP JiGG! (@WillIgnont) April 18, 2016
Out of all of the coaches Ignont communicates with, Saban may be the one he connects with the most. Ignont did not get a chance to talk to Saban much this past weekend, but he’s had plenty of in-depth conversations with him in the past.
“I love Coach Saban. He’s actually one of my favorite, if not the favorite, coaches to talk to,” Ignont said. “I love him. I think he’s a great guy.
“That’s the thing with him, a lot of people have so much against Coach Saban. Look at what he’s doing at the University of Alabama. Every time I go there, I’m just in awe. It’s such a great place to be. Throughout this whole process, he’s made it easy for me to talk to him. He’s definitely someone I could see myself playing for.”
The 6-foot-2, 238-pounder expects to make his silent commitment public soon. He still wants to take more visits to be “110 percent” sure of his choice. His mother, Daphane, doesn’t want her son to be 100 percent sure of his choice. He needs to have that extra 10 percent before he can make his decision public.
“Once I commit and I’m 110 percent and I make it public, that’s where I’m going,” Ignont said. “My mom always preaches being faithful and loyal to that school. If you commit to a school, don’t be 100 percent, be 110 percent.”
Even though he hasn’t gone public with his decision, it’s clear that he’s made up his mind on where he wants to play.
“Not really because I am pretty much set on that school,” Ignont said when asked if there was anything a school can do to change his commitment. “I’m not even going to lie to you.”
Ignont is rated as the nation’s No. 5 inside linebacker and is the state of Alabama’s No. 26 prospect in the Class of 2017.
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.