June 10, 2011

Gladney talks commitment

The see-saw, did he, didn't he, commitment of Columbia, S.C., athlete Casey Gladney came to conclusion on Friday afternoon when the 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver became the 13th commitment of the 2012 class.

Gladney received an offer from the Tide on Tuesday while at the Alabama camp with his teammates, but his academic situation coupled with the new oversigning rules complicated whether the Crimson Tide could take a commitment that might not make into school next summer.

"Alabama coaches told me, 'You've got the opportunity right in front of your face, right in your hands, and all you have to do is take advantage of it," Gladney said. "That's why I committed right then. I don't want any distractions this year. I just want to focus on school. I'm more focused right now then I've ever been.

"I like Alabama a lot. It's a nice place to play. I like the coaching staff. I was already liking them before all this happened. I just got to get focused on academics.

"The coaches say I'm smooth. Coach (Mike Groh) said it looks like I'm not running fast just because of how smooth I am."

Gladney's head coach Kemper Amick said Alabama has been extremely upfront about his academic situation.

"Coach Saban was honest with him about that," Amick said. "He told him that if academics weren't taken care of Alabama couldn't take him."

Amick raved about the player Alabama is getting.

"He's got break-away speed. He's got great hands. It's like his hands have Velcro on them. He's very similar to Sidney Rice and A.J. Green. He just controls his body so well. Those guys can be in the air and just adjust. He's very similar to that. He's an exceptional athlete. His upside is tremendous. It's only recently that a lot of people have known about him.

"I told our coaches his freshman year the first few weeks of practice I said, 'That sucker right there will be a major-college player.' I think he's the best player in South Carolina. I honestly feel that way. It's just that a lot of people don't know a lot about him."

Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0229. Follow him on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/AaronSuttles


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