September 25, 2011

Black takes in first Alabama game

Rivals 100 wide receiver Chris Black is one of the University of Alabama's top commitments in the 2012 recruiting class, but the Florida native had never been to Bryant-Denny Stadium for a Crimson Tide football game.

That changed on Saturday when Black and his family made the trip from Jacksonville to witness the 38-14 win over Arkansas in person.

"This was my first real game," Black said. "It was crazy. It was a big crowd. All of the fans really support their team. I thought the team was very strong on defense, which kind of held up for the offense, but overall, everybody did good.

"I've been to Florida State games and Florida games, but neither one of them are like an Alabama game."

Before the game, Black got a chance to meet with the UA coaching staff and some of the other recruits who were in town for the weekend, including future teammates Dillon Lee and Eddie Williams.

"I met Eddie Williams and Dillon Lee and a few other recruits who were around," Black said. "I had been asking Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt about Dillon because I knew we had some good linebackers in the class and I watched his highlight tape one day, and he's a beast."

Black said he's looking forward to getting the chance to play with the Georgia linebacker, as both players are planning to enroll early at Alabama.

In UA's victory on Saturday, Marquis Maze was one of the stars for the Crimson Tide and made the play of the day when he returned a punt for a touchdown. However, the versatile wide receiver is a senior this year, leaving a void at the position going forward.

Black, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound playmaker, hopes to fill that void.

"Coach (Nick) Saban can't wait to get me down here," Black said. "He told me I can come in and make plays early on. They liked the fact that I can be versatile, not just be a slot guy but be able to play outside as well. I'm looking forward to him using me in a number of ways on offense and some on special teams as well."

Alabama further strengthened the future at wide receiver this past week with the commitment of Amari Cooper, another Rivals 100 receiver from the state of Florida.

"I texted him and told him congrats on his decision and told him that I look forward to playing with him," Black said. "He's another great receiver, so that will kind of help me out. You always need somebody on the other side to keep the defense off of you."

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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