June 29, 2010

Tide in top two for 2012 OT

Alabama's 2010 summer camps have attracted some of the nation's top prospects for the class of 2012 and one of the top offensive lineman to appear at Alabama's first summer session was Roebuck (SC) offensive tackle Patrick Destefano. The 6-foot-6, 285-pound lineman has already earned offers from three major programs in the Southeast and continues to receive lots of attention from the Crimson Tide coaching staff.

"This summer has been kind of crazy for me," Destefano said. "I have been from camp to camp with hardly any time in between. I went to Georgia, Alabama and Clemson and I will be going to South Carolina's camp later this summer. I also went to a long snapper camp because our team's long snapper graduated and I need to learn how to do that to help our team out."

"I'm hearing a lot from Alabama recently and I like them a lot. I haven't received an offer from them yet but they've told me if I keep it up I will be hearing from them."

Destefano has been attending summer camps in Tuscaloosa for the past two years and has grown increasingly impressed with the coaching staff at Alabama and the insights they have offered into his position.

"I've been to Alabama several times already. In my opinion, Coach (Joe) Pendry is the best offensive line coach in the nation. I have learned so much from him at camps. Coach Saban is such a commanding persona as well. Everyone gets quiet when he starts talking. He knows how to run a program the right way and how to pay attention to every detail. That's how you win national championships."

While the Tide have made a strong early impression on Destefano, a recent visit to Clemson brought the Tigers into contention for the big man's services as well.

"I loved what I saw at Clemson's camp. They have a great staff and their facilities are really going to be improving a lot over the next few years. Before I visited Clemson, I would have told you Alabama was far and away my favorite. Now I would say they are even. I am glad I've got lots of time to decide."

The junior-to-be will focus primarily on playing left tackle in high school but does occasionally play a variety of roles for his Dorman High School squad.

"I mainly focus on offense, although I do play a little defensive end as well. I can play both tackle and both guard spots and the colleges I've talked to like that I have that versatility to play at different spots. Most schools have told me they like me as a guard because of my hips and my technique but Coach Pendry at Alabama said he likes me as a tackle."

Dorman has made its name running a spread-based, pass-oriented style of offense but Destefano said his preference as a lineman is good old fashioned run blocking.

"I've always liked the run a little better. People tell me I'm a better pass blocker but run blocking is always more fun for me. It's what I love."

As of now, Destefano plans on being a December graduate for the class of 2012 and will enroll in time to participate in 2012 spring practices wherever he decides to play.

"I've already decided I'm going to graduate early and enroll wherever I go in January. I will try to have my decision made in the summer before my senior year so I can spend that entire fall focused on my last semester of high school and my senior season of football."

Destefano boasts a 300-pound bench max and 375-pound squat.

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