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College recruiters come through Southside

When a football college recruiter shows up at a high school, it brings a tangible experience to the student athletes that encourages them to proactively consider their futures on and off the field.

A few football players at Southside High School had the opportunity to meet with several college coaches who stopped by the campus this past Wednesday and Thursday.

“Any time you have recruiters coming in, something is going on,” Southside football head coach Daniel Flowers said. “A lot of them came to see Ernest Hatcher, Malik Johnson, Keandre Peterson and Derrick Griffin.”

Flowers, who jumps at any opportunity to promote his athletes, was encouraged to have so many colleges come by the school to speak to his players and watch game film.

“It’s exciting for me to have recruiters come in and evaluate my guys,” he said. “They come in my room and we watch film. They take notes on everything that they’re doing.”

Nearly two weeks after Alabama State University coaches stopped by the school and put on a spring practice at Bloch Park, Southside received visits from University of West Alabama and Troy University Wednesday. Thursday, college recruiters from UAB and the University of Memphis arrived on campus.

No offers were given out, and the recruiters were limited to talking to coach Flowers and simply meeting the athletes. But the exposure still brought some excitement for the student athletes.

“The recruiters were talking about camps going on this summer, and told the student-athletes to make sure they have their grades and ACT scores,” Flowers said. “They told them to get on the road and come to the colleges, so that they can see them along with the head coach.”

Flowers has an open-door policy when it comes to college coaches. He made the connections at a coach’s clinic and lets the coaches know they are always welcome to come to Southside.

“I don’t have a set time or a reason they can’t come,” Flowers said. “I tell them they can come anytime they want to come, visit and see our players.”

Even though the recruiters are limited during these visits, making the trip shows that there is interest in the athletes Southside produces.

Johnson had interest from each of the schools that came to visit this week, including ASU. UAB and Memphis has shown interest in Hatcher. UAB also showed interest in Griffin, according to Flowers. UWA and Troy has shown interest in Peterson.

Southside football has already started spring practice, and the team will be in full pads this upcoming Tuesday. The Panthers spring game will be on the road against Hale County Friday May 18 at 7 p.m.