Nate McBride had never attended an Alabama game prior to his unofficial visit on Saturday, and it was certainly worth the wait.
“It was a pretty neat experience seeing two of the top teams in the nation,” McBride told SEC Country. “Alabama shut down Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry had a great game. It was a really good experience for it being my first Alabama game.
“It was one of the best visits I’ve had.”
The 2017 four-star linebacker from Vidalia, Ga., arrived early enough on Saturday to speak at length with defensive coordinator Kirby Smart before venturing out to the field to watch Alabama’s linebackers warm up.
Above all, though, McBride came away most impressed by the Crimson Tide’s ability to limit Fournette to just 31 rushing yards on 19 carries. The Heisman Trophy hopeful entered the game averaging 193.1 yards per outing.
“They had it figured out,” McBride said. “Coach Smart said they thought they’d have to put an extra man in the box, but they ended up not having to because the front line is just beast. And they have linebackers like Reuben Foster and Reggie Ragland. It’s hard to get by them, I’ll say that.”
McBride, the No. 3 outside linebacker in 2017, already holds offers from Auburn, Alabama and UGA, among others. However, the latter two schools appear to be the frontrunners so far, per 247Sports.com’s Crystal Ball predictions.
When asked if a win like Alabama’s could influence his recruitment, McBride agreed.
“It can,” McBride said. “I don’t want to base my decision off of one game, but seeing a team come through and win big like that against a big team is pretty impressive.”