December 21, 2010

Douglas talks Tide commitment

Once a freshman All-American at the University of Tennessee, Aaron Douglas signed a letter of intent last week that will lead him to the Vols' most hated rival, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Douglas arrives at Alabama by way of Arizona Western Community College where he spent the last season as part of a dominant offensive line alongside fellow Alabama signee Jesse Williams. When it comes to what led him to his ultimate choice, Douglas said the decision was difficult but what gave the Tide the edge in the end was the opportunity they presented to play for championships.

"This was the toughest decision of my life but at the same time it was the easiest. It was tough because I had some truly great schools to choose from with Alabama, USC, Arkansas and Oregon. I met some great people and all were great options," Douglas said. "But at the end of the day I couldn't turn down the chance to play for maybe the greatest coach ever. Alabama has something truly special going on right now in Tuscaloosa and I wanted to be part of it. Just play my role in helping them win another national championship."

Douglas said that in addition to the prestige that comes along with the Tide program, the environment in Tuscaloosa and the relationships he developed with the coaching staff made the decision much easier.

"At Alabama I felt like I was already part of the team. Coach Saban, Coach Pendry and really all the coaches made me feel like I was with them already. They didn't promise me or sugarcoat anything. I was told to come in compete and do the best I can and things would work out," Douglas said. "Also the players were great. I know Dont'a Hightower and Barrett Jones already since they are from my home state and a few more. Brian Vogler was my host and that was funny since I was his host when I was at Tennessee when he was a recruit visiting.

"All the players I met were cool. I just felt comfortable being around them. Everyone involved in the football program made me feel at home. That meant a lot."

Among the other advantages the Tide held, the ability for Douglas' family to come see him play regularly was a key factor.

"Alabama was the best choice for me all-around and I had the full support of my family. I wanted them to be able to see me play pretty much every week and we aren't that far from Tuscaloosa," Douglas said. "My grandparents are getting up there in years and I didn't want them to miss my games. I'm close to my grandfather and he doesn't fly so staying close to home worked out perfectly."

The 6-foot-8, 280-pound offensive tackle said that his decision to leave Tennessee was a difficult one for him but that it hasn't affected his desire to play college football or his love for the game itself.

"I love football. I've been playing it for 14 years. I was unhappy at Tennessee bottom line but I'm committed to being a great football player. I love the camaraderie and everything that goes with it," Douglas said. "I'm working out and getting ready to go in and compete in January for a spot on that offensive line. I'm a team player so I want to do whatever I can to add to that Alabama legacy and help us get another ring.

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