Longtime Auburn fan commits to Alabama (UPDATED)

Nick Saban (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Nick Saban (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Chadarius Townsend, a 4-star athlete from Tanner, Ala., committed to Alabama on Wednesday night after keeping his commitment a secret for over a month, his father told the AJC.

“We wanted enough time to know exactly what was coming,” Townsend’s father, Dale, told the AJC. “We understood that Alabama, being the big monster that they are in recruiting, it may keep other colleges from offering because they may feel like they wouldn’t have an opportunity.”

Chadarius verbally committed during his June 3 visit to Alabama, a secret his father acknowledged only he, his son and Alabama head coach Nick Saban knew about.

Interestingly enough, though, Alabama was never Chadarius’ first choice. Initially, Townsend coveted both Auburn and Ole Miss – two schools he was hoping to visit first and foremost at the start of summer.

“He’s always been an Auburn fan,” his father said. “Honestly, he was waiting to hear from Auburn from the jump, but he didn’t hear from them.”

When Townsend didn’t hear back from either school, Alabama struck while the iron was hot.

“They welcomed him in with open arms,” his father said. “They pretty much laid down the red carpet.”

By the time Chadarius got around to making his overdue visits to both Auburn and Ole Miss, his father says his mind was already set.

“Alabama had already grabbed him by the heart.”

The 6-foot, 180-pound Townsend is rated as the state of Alabama’s No. 9 overall prospect for 2017, and his high school coach believes the best is still to come.

“Chadarius is a good kid,” Tanner coach Laron White told the AJC. “He’s a speed guy. The one thing about Chadarius is, he’s only going to the 11 grade. When he gets to the 12th grade, he’ll be so much bigger, so much more mature, so much faster. And I think Alabama is a good fit for him.”

Alabama now has five commits for 2017, including Cedar Grove offensive lineman Netori Johnson. Alabama also has 19 commits for this year’s recruiting class.

Back to Townsend: Last season as a sophomore, Townsend played quarterback at Tanner High. He ran for 1,571 yards and 20 touchdowns on 153 carries, and threw for 857 yards and 18 touchdowns.

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