MUSCLE SHOALS — Before a live ESPN television audience and a packed Muscle Shoals High School auditorium Wednesday, Dee Liner ended the speculation about his college choice.
Rated one of the top defensive linemen in the country, Liner was long considered to be leaning toward Alabama since de-committing from Auburn in January.
He made it official, announcing his commitment to the Crimson Tide and donning an Alabama hat to the roar of applause.
Alabama quickly confirmed on Twitter that it had received Liner’s signed letter of intent at 11:06 a.m.
Liner had verbally committed to Auburn before his senior season but backed out after Gene Chizik was fired and none of his staff was retained.
“I wanted to go to a school that competes for championships each year at the highest level,” Liner said into an earpiece while being interviewed live via satellite by Rece Davis. “But I also wanted to go to a place where I would be pushed to be the best person I could be and reach my full potential both athletically and academically.”
In all, 26 area football players signed as part of National Signing Day, the first day high school seniors can sign with a college program.
Florence and Muscle Shoals led all area schools, each with seven players signing.
Florence linebacker Rashawn Smith was the only other area player to sign with a Southeastern Conference program, making official his commitment to Ole Miss.
Seven area players signed with NCAA Division I FBS programs, five at Florence and two at Muscle Shoals.
Three others signed with FCS programs: one each at Muscle Shoals, Lauderdale County and Hamilton.
Of UNA’s 20 high school signees, eight were local players.Bryan App can be reached at 256-740-5730 or email@example.com..