E.A. Sports Today

Roc rolls with Tide

Anniston’s McElderry commits to Alabama on Fourth of July

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Anniston’s Ryqueze McElderry lit the fuse earlier in the weekend when he reopened his recruitment after a nearly year-long commitment to Georgia. The fireworks exploded Monday.

The likeable lineman announced on social media on the Fourth of July he was committing to Alabama, where he will soon join former teammate Antonio Kite as teammates once again.

Ironically, Kite made his intention to sign with the Tide last year on the Fourth of July, too.

After going so long without landing a player from the Model City, the Tide has now picked up two Anniston players in less than a year.

“The relationship I had with Coach Wolf (Eric Wolford) was one of the deciding factors,” McElderry said. “Coach Wolf was one of my very first offers when he was at South Carolina. He’s been recruiting me since the ninth grade. The relationship has always been there. He’s built a very good relationship with my mom.

“Another deciding factor was Coach Wolf’s development of the offensive line and his track record of putting offensive linemen in the NFL — not just his but also Alabama’s history of putting guys in the NFL. Coach (Nick) Saban made me a priority as well. He came by the school earlier this year and he was always calling checking in on me.”

Before making his original commitment to Georgia in November, the 6-foot-4, 330-pound four-star teased the crowd by wearing an Alabama hoodie and drinking out of an Alabama cup. Even after Roc pulled the trigger, schools continued to pursue him and many observers thought he might flip his commitment.

“I kept telling everybody Alabama always has been my dream school, but at the same time they hadn’t shown as much love and care as Georgia did,” McElderry said back in November.

That all changed as the coaching carousel spun in the offseason and Wolford landed in Tuscaloosa.

Cover photo: Before making his original commitment to Georgia, Anniston lineman Ryqueze McElderry teased the crowd with a lot of Alabama paraphernalia. Eight months later, Alabama is the pick.

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