Justice Haynes caught everybody off guard.

The No. 1 operating again within the 2023 class has lengthy been thought-about a Georgia lean. In line with Haynes, that thought even permeated the minds of the Alabama teaching employees.

However on July 17, Haynes flipped the script. The Bulldog legacy introduced his dedication to Alabama over Georgia and Ohio State.

“The message I received was I can go in there and be nice,” Haynes mentioned. “Bama’s had a bunch of nice operating backs and I might be the subsequent nice again to come back out of Bama.”

Georgia had been thought-about the chief for a lot of Haynes’ recruitment. As his course of got here down the stretch this summer season, Alabama and Ohio State joined the Bulldogs because the frontrunners. Every faculty acquired an official go to from Haynes in June.

That official go to to Tuscaloosa is what despatched the Crimson Tide surging to the entrance. Haynes frolicked with folks up and down this system, getting a peek backstage on the program Nick Saban has constructed.

“In every single place I am going, you’re going to have nice amenities, the flashy stuff goes to be there,” Haynes mentioned. “It was actually the those that make the place. You may have the best facility On the planet, however if you happen to don’t have nice folks working the power it doesn’t matter. So the folks at Bama, it had the amenities, however that made it particular. That’s when Bama, I received that at-home feeling at Bama.”

The message from Georgia had been going from a legacy to a legend of his personal. The message from Bama had an analogous tone – come to Tuscaloosa and be the subsequent within the lengthy string of elite Crimson Tide operating backs.

Haynes is aware of that Saban and operating backs coach Robert Gillespie will push him to be his finest. He additionally has gotten a have a look at how the power and conditioning program will form him into one of the best athlete and particular person he might be.

“They’re going to get a baseline check, determine the place your weaknesses are, and so they’re going to make that your power,” Haynes mentioned. “You’re additionally going to proceed your strengths and make these stronger. You’re going to proceed simply to continue to grow in every thing. They’ve a particular plan for you. Every participant has a special plan. Any man on the staff, Will Anderson, he has his personal plan. I’ve my very own plan as nicely.”

The connection with Saban additionally stands out to Haynes. Whereas he mentioned most see him screaming on the sidelines throughout video games, Haynes has additionally seen a special facet of him all through the recruitment course of.

“I spent a whole lot of time with him on my official go to,” Haynes mentioned. “Us going to the lake at his home, him consuming at dinner, simply having regular conversations with him. He’s such a relatable man and a straightforward man to speak to when you get to know him. At all times cracking jokes, you would inform the gamers love him. Simply being round him, actually attending to know him. I like basketball, he performed basketball with me. Simply stuff like that, nice coach, nice man.”

Haynes referred to as Saban and Gillespie to tell them of his resolution on Saturday, the day earlier than his dedication. With most contemplating Haynes a Georgia lock, the information got here as a shock.

“Coach Gillespie was like, ‘Wow,’” Haynes mentioned. “I believe a whole lot of them thought Georgia. Saban mentioned a factor, he mentioned, ‘That simply made my day, to be sincere. I didn’t anticipate that.’ Quite a lot of them, I don’t suppose they thought that they had an actual loopy shot. However they did.”

Haynes is planning to enroll at Alabama in January. When he arrives in campus, he plans on fulfilling the imaginative and prescient Gillespie and Saban have for him as the subsequent nice operating again to put on the crimson and white.

“I wish to say it’s me versus me on daily basis, be one of the best participant I might be each day,” Haynes mentioned. “You’ll be able to both get higher or worse each day. My objective on daily basis is to get one p.c higher. There’s all the time somebody working. You’ve received to outwork that particular person. I’m going to come back in there, simply work laborious, be humble, simply pave my path to greatness.”

By 24H

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