Vadal Alexander was born in New Orleans and a good chunk of his family lives in Louisiana, so it's not surprising that he has been an LSU fan for years. He tried to forget that the past year or so, though.
"I was a fan of LSU growing up, but once I got to the recruiting process, I threw that aside," the Buford senior said.
Because of that, the 6-foot-6, 334-pounder gave his other two finalists, Alabama and Auburn, a fair shake when he pared down his long list of college scholarship offers. While he liked the two Alabama schools, something just felt right in Baton Rouge.
Alexander made his decision official Monday afternoon with a phone call of his commitment to the LSU coaches.
"It wasn't really that one school had something that the other schools didn't have," said Alexander, whose father played football at Nicholls State (La.). "But once I spent the weekend with the team, the coaches, the players and saw the relationships and the work ethic, I couldn't see myself playing anywhere else."
A standout at offensive tackle for the unbeaten Wolves, Alexander is the sixth member of Buford's loaded senior class to commit to a major college. He's also the second to commit to LSU, joining long snapper Reid Ferguson.
Alexander plans to graduate Buford early, so he can enroll at LSU in January and participate in spring practice.
"I'll play whatever position makes the line better," Alexander said. "But Coach (Greg) Stud (Studrawa) told me he sees me as a tackle."
That's where Buford will have him the rest of this season as he helps the Wolves toward their unprecedented fifth straight state championships. Class AA's top-ranked team has this week off with a showdown with fellow unbeaten Greater Atlanta Christian on tap the following week.
For the first time in several years, Alexander can focus on high school football alone instead of balancing what has been a heavy dose of attention from college coacehs and recruiting services.
"It's really refreshing," Alexander said. "I don't have to worry about where I'm going. Everybody knows where I'm going. I feel really good about it."