By Cam Smith, USA TODAY High School Sports | February 7, 2018 10:22 am
He was always going out of state, but it came down to two SEC powers. For Patrick Surtain Jr., the move just felt right.
After weighing scholarship offers from 32 different schools (32!!), Surtain Jr. announced his decision on National Signing Day from American Heritage (Fla.), choosing Alabama as the crowd of onlookers cheered.
The 6-foot-1, 199-pound cornerback is the top-ranked recruit at his position and the No. 6 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, making his choice one of the most significant decisions and announcements of National Signing Day 2018.
Patrick Surtain Jr. goes with Alabama. "We're used to winning around here." pic.twitter.com/MFCYP9dIWb
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) February 7, 2018
Why Alabama? The decision was apparently straightforward for Surtain Jr.
“Why Alabama? They win championships,” Surtain Jr. told ESPN from his nationally televised announcement. “And over here we’re used to winning. I want to be a part of that winning culture.”
Surtain Jr.’s decision to leave his home state would have been a surprise if not for the lead-in that preceded it. If anything, the third-most likely program to land the son of former Dolphins cornerback Patrick Surtain may have been Clemson, yet another rising power outside the Sunshine State.
A last minute visit to Miami spurred some excitement that he might choose the Hurricanes, but in the end, the pull from Nick Saban and perennial championship contention at Alabama was simply too strong.