Alabama offered Troy (Ala.) Charles Henderson four-star EDGE Zion Grady on his first gameday visit to Tuscaloosa last fall, and the Tide made him a priority ever since.
He was back a few times over the summer, and has been on campus twice this fall for both the Texas and Tennessee games. Other schools like Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and the Vols have been in the mix, but the nation’s No. 35 prospect in 2025 has known where he wants to be for some time.
On Sunday, he made it official by publicly committing to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide.
“Alabama moved up my list over the summer; I was there for the cookout at the end of the summer and that was a big visit for me,” he told On3. “I spent time with Coach Nick Saban, we had a good talk, and after that visit is when I started thinking about committing to Alabama.
… After that visit, I knew that is where I wanted to go. I learned more about Alabama, I spent time with the coaches and that made a big impact.”
Development, relationships led Zion Grady to stay home
While the Crimson Tide weren’t the first school to offer him, they weren’t far behind in doing so. Since then, he’s connected with multiple people on staff. But outside linebackers coach Coleman Hutzler has led the charge, and he loves the idea of playing for him at the next level.
“I have talked to Coach Saban some, and Coach Bala recruits me too, but the main guy I talk to is Coach Coleman Hutzler,” he said. “They are recruiting me to play outside linebacker, so he will be my position coach. We have a good relationship and I like his energy and intensity. He is a high-intensity guy and he is fun to be around. Since Aug. 1, he has been on me hard.”
Playing for arguably the greatest college football coach ever is exciting for Grady as well, and he believes Alabama will continue to be an elite program while he’s there. Georgia was his other top school, but the development in Tuscaloosa and the ability to play close to home ultimately made the difference.
“The biggest thing about Alabama is development,” he added. “The No. 1 reason why I picked Alabama is how they develop guys at my position. And they have shown me how they can develop me on and off the field. Coach Saban talked to me about the plan they have for their players, and I believe in that.”