July 26, 2009

Tide a standout for four-star OT

The Alabama Crimson Tide have had a few surprising recruiting successes outside the Southeast over the last few years and now the Tide staff is attracting the attention of one of the nation's elite offensive tackles. Hyattsville, Maryland star Arie Kouandjio has collected dozens of offers from programs around the country but recently the four-star tackle surprised Tide fans by mentioning Alabama as one of his early favorites.

"Alabama jumped out to me because of the tradition of great offensive linemen they've had," said Kouandjio. "Some of the best guys to ever play my position have come through Alabama."

The 6-foot-6, 314-pound tackle has yet to visit Tuscaloosa but has already developed a strong relationship with some of the Tide assistant coaches.

"I talk to the coaches a couple of times a week. Coach (Sal) Sunseri and Coach (Joe) Pendry are both really good guys as well as great coaches and they really believe in my ability and my potential."

For now, Kouandjio is planning to cut his list of contenders down to a top five by the end of the summer but before that happens he plans on learning as much as he can about the nearly 40 schools that have offered him.

"Hopefully I can still get a visit to Alabama in this summer but if not I will definitely take an official there some time this fall."

"I'm probably going to wait until after the season is over to make a decision. I'm still pretty open right now as far as which schools I'm looking at but I would say Alabama and Cal are probably the two that have stuck out the most so far. I just visited South Carolina and I'm about to visit Florida State, Florida, USF and Miami so I've still got a lot to learn before I start making any decisions."

Kouandjio is the 23rd-ranked offensive tackle in the nation according to Rivals.com.

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