Why five-star QB Ty Simpson picked Alabama football over Clemson, Tennessee, others

Michael Odom
Knoxville News Sentinel

MARTIN – Even in the final 24 hours prior to his commitment, Westview five-star quarterback Ty Simpson questioned himself on making the right decision about his college football choice.

Jason Simpson, Ty’s father and head coach of UT Martin’s football team, told him back when the recruiting process started to rank his priorities about where he wanted to go to college.

And those priorities are what Ty Simpson relied on in the final hours to solidify his choice of going to Alabama.

“It really came down to player development and finding the right fit for me,” Ty Simpson said. “From being ready for the NFL with (new offensive coordinator) Bill O’Brien and Nick Saban being there every day. Being there with those guys will make me a better player.”

On Friday in front of his family, team and friends, Simpson, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior, chose the Crimson Tide over Clemson, Ole Miss, Tennessee and UT Martin.

“It feels great to say ‘Roll Tide’ and know you are going to one of the top programs in the nation,” Ty Simpson said.

Simpson said that he called Saban earlier Friday, and he said the coach and his wife, Terry, were excited for the announcement.

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"Talking to Nick Saban every day this week was awesome, and I want to play for him," Simpson said. "Seeing that emotion from the greatest college football coach ever is pretty awesome."

Saban recently completed his 14th season at Alabama with his sixth national championship there.

In the past week, Jason Simpson has tried to leave the decision up to Ty and just be supportive.

“He thought through things thoroughly, but at the end of the day, he wanted to play in the SEC, specifically the SEC West and win a national championship,” Jason Simpson said. “I told him to go through what is important to him, not me. And I told him not to get strayed with fans, talking to one player or one coach.”

But all five schools had their positives for Simpson, and the decision for Alabama was tough.

“I went through every scenario, but in the end, I felt like the best scenario for me was Alabama,” Ty Simpson said. “I went to bed with one school in mind, but I woke up and felt like Alabama was the best place for me.”

Simpson plans to be in Tuscaloosa next weekend to meet the players.

Westview coach Jarod Neal went through the process on a smaller scale when he signed with UT Martin out of high school, so Neal just tried to be another ear as Simpson set his priorities.

"I didn't have as near as intense of a recruiting process as he did, but I told him what I thought," Neal said.

Simpson is considered the No. 2 recruit in the state of Tennessee and the No. 3 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2022.

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Reach Michael Odom at michodom@jacksonsun.com or 731-425-9754. Follow him on Twitter @JSWriterMichael.