Stover makes it official
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Nikita Stover signed on the dotted line last Wednesday and is officially a member of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Stover was one of 27 high school football players who chose to play in Tuscaloosa the next four years. The Birmingham News rated Stover as the No.6 college prospect in the entire state.
Stover didn't even consider it possible to attend college on a football scholarship until two years ago. His favorite sport had been basketball, and he had hopes to land a scholarship with his play on the court instead of the gridiron.
"Football was not my favorite sport until two years ago, I really loved basketball best back then," Stover said. "But my coach told me I had a chance to play college football I really fell in love with the game. I always loved playing all sports, but football wasn't my favorite one till then."
Stover, the reigning state high jump champion, said he feels happy that the recruiting process is finally over and there will not be phone calls from coaches to answer. He also is pleased that he won't have to collect letters from the different colleges each day in the mail.
"I'm glad to get it over with," Stover said. "Hopefully I can play a lot at Alabama. Hopefully I can be part the recruiting class that will turn it around down there and get back to winning football (games) like everyone expects the Tide to."
Due to the sanctions that Alabama has recently endured, Stover may well see playing
time as a freshman.
"Coach Shula told me as soon as I sign the papers, I'm number three on the depth chart," Stover said. "Coach doesn't plan to redshirt me this year, he told me if I work hard I can get on the field this fall."
Many colleges play bump-and-run defense, bumping the receiver as he comes off the line of scrimmage in order to throw off the timing of the pass route. However, Hartselle coach Bob Godsey thinks Stover, who stands six foot one inch and weighs 187 pounds, is strong enough to adjust to the physical style of play at the college level.
"There is an adjustment from high school to the college game," Godsey said. "But he has enough upper body strength to deal with the bumping he will see in the college. It's just something he will have to get accustomed to dealing with."