Alabama makes another strong impression on family of nation's top back
football Edit

Alabama makes another strong impression on family of nation's top back

Justice Haynes, the No. 1 running back in the country from Blessed Trinity School in Roswell, Georgia, visited Alabama with his parents on Saturday. It was a shorter trip than originally planned as Haynes had to attend a baseball function in the morning. The Haynes family did not want to miss a chance to spend time with the Crimson Tide coaches even though they had to skip Alabama's spring scrimmage.

"It was a great visit," his father, Verron Haynes told BamaInsider. "Alabama is a special place. You walk in and you see all the memorabilia, the championship trophies, the rings, etc. It's all very captivating.

"We didn't get there in time for the scrimmage, but Nick (Saban) wanted to meet with us. He also arranged for the Dean to educate us on what Justice wants to major in (focus on Business and Communications). We did a photo shoot and also had some food."

Haynes is currently traveling with his baseball team to Jacksonville where he will spend the next week during his high school spring break. His father, who spent nine years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers, was cordial to shed light on the conversation with Coach Saban.

"The main message he had was about the system," Haynes said. "The system works if you build it the right way. That's evident in what Coach Saban and Alabama has been able to do year-in-and-year-out even with all the different, very good coaches who have left.

"Coach Saban still continues to win. He continues to have success because of the structure and the system at Alabama. You have the pay attention to the details in everything you do.

"You wake up and have choices to make. Are you going to go to class or not even if it's raining outside? What are you going to do? Coach Saban runs a successful program that helps you make the right choices in all areas of you life. You don't ever see any Alabama players in the news."

Former players, current players and many recruits have often mentioned the daily competition in Tuscaloosa. ‘Iron sharpens iron' is a phrase used regularly when players share reasons why they chose Alabama. Verron played at the highest level and sees similarities from during his time in Pittsburgh (2002-2007).

"What stands out to me the most is the fact they are a program that develops guys on-and-off the field," he said. "Every guy who leaves Alabama is prepared. They set themselves apart because they are squeezed day in and day out. The competition level is very high. You have to compete to get noticed. It makes the game easier.

"I remember playing for the Steelers sometimes our practices were harder than the games. That's the feeling I get from the atmosphere that Nick (Saban) has created at Alabama.

"They also have so many programs that help educate guys on the different nuisances of life. We went through quite a few yesterday. It's just so beneficial for these kids. There are so many different situations that you can get yourself in. Why not try to prevent it from happening? That's what they are trying to do and that's what sets them apart."

The Haynes family didn't have many questions. They know what Alabama has to offer. His mom was interested in the education side. They were blown away when Coach Saban brought the Dean to speak with them and answer any questions.

The unofficial visits are likely complete for the No. 1 running back in the Rivals100. He has a tentative plan for an official visit to Georgia on June 3-5. His father confirmed Alabama is on the short list and will receive an official visit.

Haynes is playing baseball and preparing this summer for his senior football season. He is also taking summer classes to put himself in position to graduate in December. He is one of the top baseball recruits and has the option to also play the sport in college.

His father was a walk-on at the University of Georgia before earning a scholarship from the Bulldogs. Haynes has visited Athens more than most schools and considered a priority target. Verron wants his son to make his own decision. His recruitment was a little different than his son, but can offer plenty of fatherly advice.

"Recruiting has totally changed since I've gone through it," Haynes said. "I had to scrap for everything whereas he is one of the top backs in the country. They open doors for him when we go on visits. It's full circle, but a different circle. His path is totally different.

"I can advise him on enjoying the process and just taking a breath. All the schools have top-notch facilities. You have to ask tough questions that you want to know. You want to put people in uncomfortable situations. We are in that next tier of really breaking it down and eliminating some schools. You have to start really asking those detail-oriented questions.”

Haynes rushed for 2,375 yards and scored 29 touchdowns during his junior season.

Watch junior season highlights!

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