Alabama head coach Nick Saban visited with Goose Creek offensive lineman and South Carolina commitment Brandon Shell for more than 30 minutes at Shell’s school Wednesday afternoon.
The Crimson Tide are still pursuing the state’s top-ranked offensive lineman, who is committed to join the Gamecocks’ Class of 2011.
Shell likely won’t make his final decision until Feb. 2, which is national signing day, he said.
“It’s not really that tough because South Carolina is still in front, but it’s something you really, really, really have to think on,” he said moments after he walked out of his meeting with Saban. “I feel more at home at South Carolina, the players, the coaches, the fans around me. I just feel like I’m home. I just fit in good.”
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Saban was scheduled to have his in-home visit with Shell on Wednesday night, Shell said. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier will visit with Shell at Goose Creek and then have an in-home visit Thursday, Goose Creek head coach Chuck Reedy said.
“It’s between those two,” Reedy said Wednesday. “South Carolina has been the favorite all along, but I think he was very impressed with Alabama.”
Shell reiterated his commitment to South Carolina after visiting Saban but left himself some room to maneuver.
“I am still committed to South Carolina,” he said. “I’m still committed until I decommit, and I haven’t decommitted yet.”
Alabama’s recruitment of Shell has been helped some by Shell’s great uncle, NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell, who has a relationship with Joe Pendry, who retired last month from his position as the Crimson Tide’s offensive line coach. Shell also knows Saban, Brandon Shell said.
“He told me make sure I give Alabama a good look,” Brandon Shell said. “He knows all those guys good, and he knows where they can get you.”