In the state of Alabama, you are required from birth to choose either Alabama or Auburn as your team. Some people pick their allegiance based on family history, some pick based on personal preference. I didn’t grow up rooting for either team. I used to always go for the underdog, and I was a big Miami fan because of Ed Reed and Sean Taylor.
When the recruiting season started for me, I was in the 10th grade. Once I made a name for myself and started gaining some traction, I had offers from schools all over the country. But like most athletes in the state, it really came down to Alabama and Auburn for me. I let Vandy ride along because I liked their coaching staff, but they knew I wasn’t going there.
My official visit to Alabama was something I will always remember. My best friend, Juwan Simpson, was already the starting linebacker there, and another close friend of mine, Sam Burnthall, who was on the visit with me, had already committed to the Tide. Most publications and online sites had me penciled in to go to Alabama because of the pipeline. The visit went well. I had a ball and was ready to commit, but my mother wasn’t.
We were in Coach Shula’s office going over the weekend. They were letting my family know how much they wanted me and all the BS that comes with coaches saying anything to get a player. Before the meeting was over, they asked my mom what she thought and how she felt about me going to the University of Alabama. “I’m just not sure. We had a great time, but this school didn’t want Blacks playing here back in the day and I still feel some type of way about that.” The entire office got quiet and I looked at my mom like “WTH!” LOL! I had already told Shula I was going to commit after my Auburn visit the next weekend, and now he was looking at me like “I gotta feeling you’re not coming here.”
The very next weekend we go to the greatest school in the world and let’s just say, Auburn heard about what happened in Tuscaloooooser. They put Brother Chette Williams, our Chaplin, with my mom and we didn’t see her the entire weekend. We had the meeting with coach Tuberville and Gene Chizik at the end of the weekend and the same questions were asked, “Mrs Powers, what do you think of your son coming here and what are your concerns?”…..”I love it! WE love it! This is where my son needs to be!” Well let’s just say the rest is history. I guess that ol’ saying is true, “Momma knows best!” WAR DAMN EAGLE!