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Blue Devils' WR Bolton bolts for Saban's Crimson Tide

NORCROSS - For the second year in a row, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has gotten himself a Norcross wide receiver.

Six months after 2007 senior Darius Hanks signed a national letter of intent with the SEC power, rising senior Devonta Bolton followed suit and committed to the Crimson Tide on Saturday at a press conference at Norcross High School.

His announcement, which came in front of a packed house at the Duke Building, was met with a raucous ovation and several "Roll Tide" calls from the crowd.

One thing is for sure: The Tide is certainly on a roll in Norcross.

"It's going to be cool (to play with Hanks) because we know the chemistry is already there," Bolton said, "and we know how each other plays. But it didn't really have that much to do with him or anything like that. I was just blown away by what I saw (when I visited the campus)."

Bolton, who is one of the top prospects in Georgia, said he had known for almost two weeks that he would be committing to Alabama. But he didn't officially tell the Crimson Tide's coaching staff until about an hour before his press conference.

When Saban found out, Bolton said the normally stoic head coach's voice was quite a bit different than the one he was used to hearing.

"You could tell he was excited," Bolton said with a smile. "He got out of his normal-toned voice and seemed more excited."

Throughout much of the recruiting process, the biggest debate about Bolton was what position he would play at the next level.

At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he has the size and the speed to be a physically imposing wide receiver or a ball-hawking linebacker or safety.

He said Alabama, at least initially, projects him on the offensive side of the ball.

"They see me as an H-back, an inside-slot receiver," Bolton said.

Of course, things can change once he arrives on campus and he might be asked to switch positions.

The four-star recruit doesn't care.

"It doesn't matter (whether I play offense or defense)," he said. "I just want to be on the field and make plays."

Bolton said he didn't choose Alabama because he could play offense, or even because a former teammate was in the receiving corps. He chose it because it was the right fit for him.

And he had felt that way since he visited the school and met with the coaching staff.

"They cared about you," Bolton said, "not that the other colleges didn't, but they went out of their way. They went the extra step, the extra mile. And they said you're not only coming here to play football, but also to come in and get your degree."

In the close-but-no-commitment department, Bolton said the University of Florida finished second for his services.