May 12, 2011
Big 12 commit reconsiders after Tide offer
Van, Texas linebacker Dalton Santos has been committed to Oklahoma State for over a year. As the offers kept piling up, Santos remained solid with the Cowboys, but that all changed after a phone call from University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban on Tuesday.
"It was quite an experience," Santos said. "It's not everyday you get to talk to Nick Saban on the phone.
"He told me that Alabama has a big tradition there and about the school and everything. He told me about the linebackers and how they've had a couple drafted. He told me a bunch of good things, stuff I wanted to hear. It went well."
During the conversation, Saban offered Santos a scholarship to play at UA. Santos already had over 30 offers, but the Crimson Tide offer was a 'big-time offer' according to Santos and made the Lone Star State star reconsider his commitment.
"I talked to Oklahoma State (Tuesday) night," Santos said. "I told them I'm not a 100 percent sure I'm going to be a Cowboy, and I don't want to leave them hanging just in case I'm not. I just told them how I felt and what was on my mind.
"I'm just not 100 percent sure what I'm going to do, and if they want to pull the offer back, I understand that and I respect their decision, but I wanted to let them know that I'm still looking at the different options."
At this point, Santos is still committed to Oklahoma State, but he also wants to take a look at other schools like Alabama.
"I don't really know too much about (Alabama)," Santos said. "I know they have a great tradition. They're in the SEC. They're a powerhouse. They were national champions two years ago, and they put players in the league. Nick Saban and his staff, they put guys in the league, and that's a big plus."
Despite his commitment, Santos wants to visit Tuscaloosa this summer on an unofficial visit.
On the field, it's not hard to see why Alabama extended an offer to Santos. As a junior at Van High School, he racked up 183 tackles, including over 60 tackles for a loss. His offer list includes the majority of the Big 12 and some upper-tier SEC teams.
"I've got instincts," Santos said. "I never take a play off. When I come, I come full speed, and I'm going to knock your head off. That's just the way I play."
Reach Greg Ostendorf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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