Rivals100 LB Raul Aguirre feeling like a priority for Alabama
The University of Alabama is searching for linebackers in its 2023 class. The Tide had a few priority targets in Tuscaloosa the first couple of weeks in June. Raul Aguiree, Rivals100 inside linebacker from Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Georgia, is one of the best who has been in town. He took an official visit this past weekend.
"All I can really say is, it's Alabama," Aguirre said with excitement in his voice after he was asked about the official visit. "For me to be able to go over there and spend time talking with the players and coaches was definitely special. It's definitely a program I really like.
"I was with Shawn Murphy and some of the other players. I talked to Coach Saban and had a lot of conversations with Coach Pete (Golding). They feel like I definitely fit their program on all levels. They need linebackers. They are all about business there.
"You have (Henry) To'oto'o leaving after this year. You can learn from the best. The standard there is very high. It's just crazy. I loved everything about the visit and can't wait to go back. It's definitely a school I look forward to seeing again.”
Aguirre confirmed Alabama is on the short list after the weekend in Tuscaloosa. He isn't ready to say if there is a leader in his recruitment, but Alabama far exceeded his expectations. He visited Alabama with his parents and two of his brothers.
"My favorite part of the visit was just kicking it with Coach Saban," he said. "I also enjoyed chilling with Shawn Murphy (Alabama freshman linebacker, and Aguirre's player host for the weekend). He was definitely pushing hard on me. I talked to him and Jihaad Campbell (Alabama freshman linebacker). They are on me about coming there and being a part of the program.
"Coach Saban was mainly telling me they have two seniors leaving and how he sees a lot in me. He said they would love to have me and need me. I fit their culture. Some players don't fit at Alabama, but I do. Coach (Charles) Kelly told me after the visit that Coach Saban said, 'that kid belongs here.' They are very hard on me. It's very important for me to see. A man like Coach Saban is going to push me to be the best player and person I can be."
It's Aguirre's versatility as a linebacker that has the Tide's attention. He is ranked as an inside backer, but can move around, and he is open to playing any position.
"They feel like I can play the Mike or Will (linebacker)," Aguirre said. "They definitely like that I can play different positions. They think I am very versatile.
"I enjoyed talking with Coach Golding. He's crazy. We have a great relationship. He's a good person, and a good man. I am definitely going to be talking to him even more. I am just excited about getting back over there to spend more time with everyone."
So what stands out to the elite linebacker about the Crimson Tide?
"To me, it's just speaking to the players," Aguirre said. "It's great talking to the coaches and hearing how they plan to use you in their system. The players will keep it real with you. You hear all the same answers from the guys at Bama. It's all very good stuff."
Aguirre has completed official visits to Alabama and Florida. He is scheduled to visit Ohio State on June 24-26. The other schools still in the running include Arkansas, Georgia and Miami. He expects to make a decision before the end of summer.
"I will definitely decide before the start of the season," he stated. "I really just wanted to be developed by the right coach. That's what I'm looking for when making my decision. I want to be around people that will help make me a better man on-and-off the field.”