Four-star DE Jordan Renaud has special visit to Alabama with his mom
Jordan Renaud, four-star defensive end from Legacy High School in Tyler, Texas, took his first official visit this past weekend to the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide has been considered one of the front-runners in his recruitment. He has visited Tuscaloosa four times which included the A-Day game in April.
Renaud moved to Tyler in January of his sophomore year in high school. He is orginally from Broward County (Fort Lauderdale area), but moved to Sarasota when he was seven years old.
Upon arriving in Tyler, he befriended the team's superstar running back, Jamarion Miller, who signed with Alabama in December. The two had similar scholarship offers, took recruiting visits together and became close friends throughout the process.
Miller remains close with Renaud, and he doesn't want to just stay friends. He wants Renaud to join the Alabama football brotherhood. Miller provides plenty of information to his former teammate, but at the same time wanted him to see what Alabama was like during the official visit. He also wanted him to experience what it's really like with the players who already live in Tuscaloosa.
"I asked Jamarion (Miller) questions every day,” Renaud said on Monday evening. "He always just told me that I would see when I get there. He talked about how close the team is with each other. There's a difference between living together and being close with one another.
"They have something special outside of football at Alabama. I want to be a part of something like that. I just want to have great camaraderie with the people who are there. Jamarion was my player host during the visit.
"I got to see a different side of him. He was reserve and kept to himself when he was here in Tyler, but he and I were always close; just seeing how he is loved by his teammates shows the type of person he is. I felt like I saw another side of him. He's always been a good person, but now he's cracking jokes and just always has a smile on his face. College can bring out the best in you."
Renaud also spent time with Alabama freshmen Kendrick Law and Jihaad Campbell. Campbell, who plays linebacker for the Crimson Tide, also taught Renaud a few new pass rushing moves. The visit was more than just hanging out with the players. It was an important visit for Renaud's family. It was the first time his mom had ever taken a college visit with him.
"She felt like it was great," he said. “She feels like Alabama is the best school in the country. She doesn't think any other school can compare to Alabama. The best part of the visit was just seeing how happy she was. I loved it.
"I knew I would enjoy the visit. I thought everything was great. I knew what to expect. I did a few different things like going out with the players and going over to Coach Saban's house on the lake. It was special for my mom to be there.
"I really just wanted to see how she would react once she saw everything and met everyone there. She didn't have to lift a finger all weekend. I wanted this to be her first visit. I wanted her to get the perspective by seeing it for herself and to understand what Alabama is all about. It was a blessing.”
It's difficult for a recruit to have a bad official visit. You are treated like royalty throughout the weekend. You are told how much you are wanted/needed, a lot of time with the coaches, going out with players, and the five-star meals (Renaud enjoyed two lobster tails and T-Bone steak one night).
Renaud has serious interest in Alabama, and there was a reason why he chose to take his first official visit with the Tide. He has yet to make a decision, and still plans to take at least two other official visits including one to Oklahoma and Florida State before making a decision.
"People will normally save the Alabama visit for a later date or one of their last officials," Renaud said. "I've heard some things about Alabama that's actually positive, but it's been put in a negative light from other schools or some in the media. There were things that just didn't make sense to me. I wanted to get my own perspective, and I wanted to hear it from the source.
"I feel like Alabama is a secure place in every aspect after this visit. They can make you a better man, a better husband, a better champion; just better overall. It doesn't have to do with anything with the football program which we know is going to be good.
"Their character development and personal development with the students who go there is phenomenal. I wanted to get better understanding on something that I thought might be scary. All these other people are telling me how rigorous and brutal it is there and what all you'll be put through there.
"You actually go visit and see everything. You learn their work-outs are personalized for each individual. They'll test you and put you through a testing process to see where you body is in all aspects. People put tags on Alabama or some media try to blow it up like it's something bad. I have my own perspective, and I had a lot of fun.
“I also saw the family aspect of it. It was so real. A lot of people think I am going to go to school for the relationships and connections. Alabama is one of the most connected schools in the nation in academics, athletics, recovery and support. They have support that supports the support. It's a grid of support. You never have to ask or want for anything. That's what I really like."
This was also an important visit for Renaud to learn more about where he might play in the Crimson Tide's defensive front. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder had questions for Coach Saban, learned what defensive line coach Freddie Roach sees in him and discussed the relationship he has with area recruiter, Holmon Wiggins.
"I asked Coach Saban what made us (recruits) special to him," Renaud said. "He answered. I asked a few other questions, and he gave a breakdown on what he likes in defensive linemen; how you have to keep moving your feet on contact. You can have active hands, but if your feet stop on contact it doesn't make you a good defensive lineman. I got a lot of clarity from his answers.
"Coach Saban kept it so real. People think he doesn't like people, and that's just because they don't understand who he is personally. He's very humble. He's poised in everything he does. He's very detailed on a microscopic level. He can see the smallest problem and fix it. That's what I like most about him.
"Coach Roach Is recruiting me at end. We are close, we are tight. He’s getting to know me. One thing he (Roach) told me—he told me is that I have the ability to self assess. I can see if I am doing something wrong on the field or in real life.
"I am on phone with Coach Roach every two weeks, but I am on the phone with Coach Wiggins almost every day at least every other day. He's getting to know more about who I am as a person. All the coaches have the same report about me—I am very outspoken. I am going to lift my teammates up. That's just who I am."
Renaud does not have any other visits scheduled at this time. He hopes to reach a decision within the next two to three months. He doesn't claim a leader at this time. Alabama is considered high on his list especially after the memorable trip for his mother in Tuscaloosa.
"Things are as they were with Alabama," he said. "Alabama knows where they are in my recruitment. They are still very prominent and will be there until I commit."