March 23, 2012

Ga. sophomore high on Tide

It was a dreary, rain-soaked afternoon in Atlanta, and I had spent the better part of the day traversing one of the South's busiest metropolises south to north, east to west.

It was National Signing Day 2012, February 1 to be exact. I had spent the morning in Ellenwood, Ga., -- about 15 miles south of the heart of Atlanta, right off of Interstate I-65 -- there to cover the signing of offensive tackle Brandon Greene. From there it was off to Henry County High School for defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson in McDonough, Ga., another 15 miles south.

My final stop of the day was at St. Pius X School in North Atlanta within the perimeter off of I-85 for defensive back Geno Smith's signing.

Under a deadline for the paper and wanting to get the story posted on as quick as possible, I was anxious to hit the road because the weather was coming in, and I knew that would encumber my three-and-a-half-hour drive back to Tuscaloosa. But just as I finished with Smith and was turning to leave the auditorium, a polite young man called out my name.

It was Nick Glass, a classmate and teammate of Smith's at St. Pius. We chatted for a bit before I hit the road -- what position he played, which schools he was hearing from, etc. I gave him my number and told him to contact me any time. Looking back, I didn't expect to hear from him soon. After all, he was just a sophomore, class of 2014, and had I just put the finishing touches on the class of 2012. Little did I know that less than two months after our initial interaction the 6-foot-2, 202-pounder's recruitment would skyrocket.

To date, Glass has 16 offers -- one for every year he's been alive. And a big one could be coming soon.

The University of Alabama is hot on the trail of the talented defender, and Glass believes an offer from the defending national champions could be forthcoming.

"I talked to Coach (Chris) Rumph for 30 minutes, and he said they loved my film," Glass told "Him and Coach (Kirby) Smart and all the defensive coaches love my film. He said he graded my film and it was the second-highest grade you can get. He was real positive."

Only a sophomore, Glass could end up at a number of positions in college, and although most schools are recruiting him at safety, he said Alabama likes him at cornerback.

"He said I have really good hips, and that I could play corner or safety. They really like my versatility."

He started all of his sophomore season, tallying 75 tackles, four interceptions and five sacks. His size and athleticism should come as no surprise given his gene pool. His cousin, Fred Beasley, enjoyed a 10-year NFL career playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins after starring at Auburn and Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. His uncle, Anthony "Stoney" Parker was a defensive standout at Southern Miss (1975-78).

He said Georgia Tech, Clemson, Arkansas, Florida and Alabama are the schools recruiting him the hardest.

He plans to visit Alabama for either a spring practice or the A-Day Game on April 14. Either way, he feels positive about seeing firsthand the Crimson Tide program.

"Alabama is a powerhouse," Glass said. "I like the way they have a swagger about the game. They're coached great, and they go out there and execute.

"Geno is already telling me to go ahead and hurry up and come to the Tide with him."

Reach Aaron Suttles at [email protected] or at 205-722-0229. Follow him on Twitter here.

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