By: Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | October 12, 2016
Alex Leatherwood is an Alabama commit, but with the Booker T. Washington (Pensacola, Fla.) lineman visiting Michigan on Oct. 1 and with plans for a visit to Georgia this week, that’s a soft commit.
That’s not the case with his selection of the Under Armour All-America Game. Leatherwood received his jersey for the game on Wednesday as part of The Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“I have a lot of friends in this game and this was the game I wanted to play in,” said Leatherwood. One reason for the connections is he played in the Under Armour Future 50 combine last winter in Orlando.
“It was a life-changing experience,” he said. “I was appreciative of the opportunity. I got to meet a lot of people like Cesar Ruiz (a center for IMG Academy in Bradenton) and Baron Browning (a linebacker for Kennedale, Texas).”
Leatherwood was a preseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection and he’s had numerous other honors. He plays offensive and defensive line in high school but at 6-6 and 327 pounds, is seen as a college offensive lineman. He said the best part of the Under Armour ceremony is it wasn’t just about him.
“I got to recognize some important people in my life, like Coach (Dredrick) Bell and my head coach (Charlie Ward) and some people who have helped me along the way,” Leatherwood said.
Growing up, Leatherwood was a Florida State fan but he didn’t begin playing organized football until he was a high school freshman. His main sport before high school was running track in middle school, but not many athletes his size run the 4×100-meter relay in high school.
As far as his college choice, it’s nice to have the commitment to Alabama, but he’s still keeping his options open.
“I just want to make sure that this four-year decision is the right decision,” he said. “It’s about the player-coach chemistry and a lot of stuff in general that I have to think about. It’s going to be between me and my parents.”