Patrick Surtain II had to make the choice for himself, not for anyone else. That was what his father, Patrick Sr., asked of his son in the final hours before the former 5-star cornerback was to make a decision between Alabama and LSU on National Signing Day in 2018.

Surtain II decided to play for Alabama, but the decision didn’t come easy. The former Alabama star told the Pivot Podcast that his decision came with a lot of thought.

“I mean, I was an LSU fan growing up — that’s my childhood team,” Surtain II said. “You have to make the best decision for you, you know? I just weighed my pros and cons out. Alabama had more pros than LSU.”

It turned out to be the right move for the younger Surtain. In 2020 he was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American while helping the Crimson Tide win the 2020 CFP Championship.

He left school after his junior season and was drafted ninth overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Patrick Sr., who grew up in New Orleans, said he wanted to make sure that his son made the decision that made him happy. He also talked about the aura that Alabama coach Nick Saban has.

“When that guy in Tuscaloosa comes calling man,” Surtain Sr. said, “it’s different.

The younger Surtain had a standout rookie season with 58 tackles, 4 interceptions and a touchdown. He was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-Rookie Team.