The nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker just wrapped up his first trip to Tuscaloosa, and it could not have gone better for Alabama and the five-star prospect.
Mique Juarez, an elite talent from North High School (Torrance, Calif.), told SEC Country that Alabama’s chances of signing him come Feb. 3 have increased.
“Oh yeah, they’re good. After this weekend, yes,” Juarez said. “I’m saying that because like (linebackers coach Tosh) Lupoi was telling me, if you want to be the best then you have to be the best. Alabama goes all around the country to get the best players. I think I would be a great fit if I did decide to go to Alabama.”
The 6-foot-2, 231-pounder recently had Ole Miss and UCLA in his final two, but he decided to include Alabama in the mix before taking his official visit this weekend. Would he say that it was a good decision to do that?
“It was a really good decision,” he said. “Alabama wasn’t in it because I had never taken a trip out there. After this weekend, it was (an) unforgettable time out here.”
Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and Juarez had a chance for some one-on-one time, and the five-time national champion compared the five-star to a potential first-round NFL draft pick. It was the best thing he heard all weekend.
“I am very versatile, (Saban) was saying,” Juarez said. “I can play wherever he needs to me play. He compared me to (inside linebacker) Reggie Ragland, and that is one of the best compliments I can get. It was really awesome to hear that from Nick Saban.”
Now that he has a trip to Alabama under his belt, would he say any school holds an advantage over the next?
“Everybody is still even, but Alabama is honestly a great school. I’m glad I took this trip,” he said.
With Juarez hailing from the other side of the country, some may speculate that it’s going to be hard to get the California native to play so far away from home. But he says he has his parents’ blessing if Alabama was the school he decided to commit to.
“They don’t mind me going to Ole Miss or Alabama at all,” he said. “Being far away from home is not an issue to them.”
Before Juarez truly soaks up the trip to Tuscaloosa on his flight back to California, he’s left with a feeling of awe.
“Fascinating, amazing — it’s indescribable. That’s how great it was,” he said.
Juarez will be making his final decision on National Signing Day.
All rankings are provided by 247Sports composite.