NBC reporter recalls the great lengths Julio Jones's high school took to ensure he committed to Alabama
When former Alabama WR Julio Jones was a star in Foley, Alabama, his high school coach wanted to make sure his best player went on to play for the Crimson Tide and once went to great lengths to keep then-USC coach Pete Carroll away from Jones.
Per the recollection of one NBC reporter, that involved a school lockdown and a quick phone call to Nick Saban.
According to All22.com, NBC’s Rob Buska recounted the incredible story on Pro Football Talk this week:
“I had talked to Pete Carroll once about Julio Jones, and he said when Julio was in college, he of course went to Alabama, and Pete Carroll was still at USC,” Buska said.
Buska then paraphrased what Carroll had to say about the encounter at Jones’s high school:
“We loved Julio so much, and he went to his high school in the middle of nowhere, in the sticks there in Alabama. We flew in to see him, and once we got out of the car, at the football field, during the middle of practice, coach saw me and knew who I was. He took Jones off the field, ran him inside, got the principal and the athletic director, and locked the school.”
Then, Buska continued, recalling the conversation with Carroll, the school got Alabama coach Nick Saban on the phone and Jones was offered a scholarship right away:
“Got Nick Saban at Alabama on the phone right away, and said, ‘Hey, Pete Carroll’s outside.’ Next thing you know, there’s your full scholarship right there,” Carroll said.
The rest, as they say, is history. Jones went on to become one of the best wide receivers in Alabama history and is now starring for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL.
Meanwhile, Carroll is left to wonder what would have happened if he’d gotten a fairer chance to land the highly touted recruit all those years ago.