E.A. Sports Today

Kite soars into T-town

Anniston’s two-sport star commits to Alabama for football

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Antonio Kite didn’t wait until sundown to shoot off his Fourth of July fireworks.

The two-sport Anniston High School star made a lot of in-state fans happy this morning when he formally announced his commitment to play football at Alabama.

He chose the Tide over Florida State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Central Florida. He becomes Alabama’s first defensive back commitment of this recruiting class.

“I felt more at home with Alabama than anybody else,” he said. “I felt like I could be myself.

“I’m looking forward to getting better every day and building relationships with my coaches and teammates — and winning.”

The four-star safety said “it’s been a minute” that he’d known the choice would be Alabama.

“I’m very happy,” he said. “I’m fixing to get to work.”

Another guy Kite knew was happy about it was Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

“When I said I was committing he couldn’t stop smiling,” he said of the coach’s reaction.

“It’s a great day to be a Bulldog,” Anniston assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Brad Ball said. “This commitment is big for the school system and the city of Anniston as a whole. This is (hashtag) TheNewAnniston.”

When Kite returned to his hometown from Baltimore as a freshman it was thought he would make his mark athletically in basketball.

A 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard, he fulfilled that destiny by leading the Bulldogs to the Class 4A state basketball championship as a junior, was the Class 4A Player of the Year and will be a top contender for Mr. Basketball this coming season.

But “I love football,” and his star in that sport has been rising the last two years. He received his first football offer from Penn State.

He was a first-team All-State defensive back in 2020 after recording 46 tackles and six interceptions. He also caught 12 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns.

Although Alabama was one of his many offers for basketball, next winter will be his last season as a full-time player on the hardwood.

“Two (sports) are too much on your body,” he said. “I’m finishing this season out and we’ll see. I’m playing football.”

If this indeed will be his last year in basketball he plans to enjoy the farewell tour.

“It’s going to be a lot of crazy, people getting dunked on …,” he said.

But before all that there’s this matter of getting down to serious business of a senior football season, a season with one big decision already off his shoulders.

“It’s going to be better,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove.”

Earlier this week, Kite’s Anniston backcourt mate Malcolm Carlisle, the MVP of the Class 4A Final Four, announced he was reopening his recruitment after staff changes at Chattahoochie Valley CC.

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