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August 5, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Four-star wide receiver Chris Black is used to making quick decisions on the football field. But making a college choice was not as easy. During the spring and summer, he spent considerable time making unofficial visits. He participated in team camps, spoke with coaches and spent time with players. He even made multiple visits to some campuses.
Whichever team he visited, the pitch was nearly the same. They told him how much they wanted him, how much they needed him, how he could play right away. With each visit he made, he built relationships along the way.
In the end, it was down to Alabama and Florida State. Originally, his announcement was planned right before the start of his high school season. But earlier this week, he decided to move up his decision. On Friday afternoon, the Jacksonville, Fla. star announced his college choice on ESPNU.
"I will be rolling with the Tide. I'm committing to Alabama," said Black. "This is a very tough decision but that's really where I felt the most comfortable, so I feel very good about my decision in picking Alabama."
How tough was the decision and did he really go back and forth between the two schools?
"Oh man, I would have to say 1,000 times it seemed with me," Black told Warchant.com. "There was one stretch where FSU was where I thought I wanted to be, then Alabama, which is why I didn't even talk about my last visit to Alabama to anyone because I didn't want to make a decision off a high of a visit. I broke down some of my top factors of comfort level, coaches, among other things and Alabama is just the place I want to be."
Alabama assistant coach Jeremy Pruitt handled Black's recruitment. He was one of the reasons the Rivals100 member felt at home whenever he was on campus.
"Although Coach Pruitt coaches on the defensive side of the ball, we built a great relationship. He made me feel at home anytime I took a visit there and constantly was there for me to talk with him about anything," Black noted. "The thing with the Alabama staff was that as a whole I felt I knew the staff really well and I didn't have that anywhere else. That's nothing against the other coaches for different schools because they were all great, but that's something I noticed with Alabama."
The most difficult part of his decision though was to tell Florida State's wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey, he won't be headed to Tallahassee. Out of any coach, Dawsey has the longest standing relationship with Black.
"That was the toughest call I've ever had to make last night when I called Coach Dawsey. It was pretty emotional, not going to lie about that. It was probably even harder on me than it was on him because he's going to continue to get great players," Black said. "I have the strongest relationship with Coach Dawsey and that won't change. He's a tremendous person first off and he was very respectful of my decision and told me he's still going to be a big Chris Black fan, and wished me good luck."