Nick Saban picked up a big commitment earlier this month for Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class from four-star defensive lineman Rashad Cheney. Gridiron Now caught up with Cheney to discuss his commitment, his dream to play in the NFL, how he feels disrespected in the recruiting process and much more.
“I wasn’t planning on committing this early, but on my visit to Alabama everything went great and even better than I expected,” Cheney told GN. “I just fell in love with it.
“When I went down there the coaching staff just treated me like I was a special recruit to them. I have a really good relationship with the staff there.”
Cheney, (6-feet-2, 270 pounds) from Ellenwood, (GA.) Cedar Grove, is among the top-20 defensive tackles in the country and a top-275 overall talent nationally in the 2019 class.
Despite being rated in the top-275 overall, Cheney feels he is being slighted by his ranking.
“To me, I still feel like the ranking I have now is disrespecting,” Cheney said. “I’m here to play football. I only look at the rankings every now and then just to see how many more times they can disrespect me. I feel that I should be higher on the ranking boards, but I’m here to play football and not worry about rankings.
“When you commit to Coach Saban, it’s not like everyone has an offer from there. So if he lets you commit there, you can pretty much ball and are pretty good. I’m just here to play football and chase my dreams of playing in the NFL.”
Cheney, isn’t the biggest defensive tackle prospect in the country, but he says in this case, size doesn’t matter.
“I’m not the biggest defensive tackle, but as you see today in the NFL, the best defensive tackles are in the 6’1 or 6’2 range,” he said. “Aaron Donald of the Rams is 6’1, 285 pounds and even a guy like Jonathan Allen who played for Alabama and was a first-round pick, he was only around 6’2, 280 pounds.
“I relate my game to them because I have real good get-off when the ball is snapped. I have real good speed and I’m real quick and agile.”
When asked if his recruitment was over now that he is committed, Cheney left no doubt with his response.
“I’m going to Alabama,” he said.
Cheney had this message for the Alabama fan base.
“Keep your eyes on me the next few years because you will be hearing about me, ‘Roll Tide.’”
Alabama now has six commitments for their 2019 recruiting class. All six prospects are ranked in the top-275 overall recruits nationally.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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