NORTHPORT, Ala. -- When Bo Scarbrough signed his name on the dotted line, a weight was lifted from his shoulders and a long journey came to an end.
In the past year, Scarbrough has attended three different high schools -- from Northridge to Tuscaloosa County to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and back to Tuscaloosa County in January to finish high school.
But on Wednesday, he finally found the place he wants to call home for college, signing a national letter of intent and joining Alabama's No. 1-ranked 2014 recruiting class.
"You only get one time in your life to do this," Scarbrough said at a signing ceremony at Clark's Sports Pub and Grille in Northport, "and I choose to keep my talents in Tuscaloosa."
Scarbrough was the Tide's first commitment for its 2014 class, pledging in September of 2012. But down the stretch, Scarbrough said he thought about looking elsewhere.
Among others, Ole Miss and Florida State both tugged at him hard, and he took visits to multiple schools. But ultimately, home field advantage won out.
"I thought about it, but once you try to leave a place and your heart tells you it's where you need to be, that's where you need to be," he said. "It was very important to me because you're not far away from home and you can always get to your family and you can always see your mom and they can always see you play.
"By staying in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it was a very great choice."
His mother agreed.
"I'm super excited, glad to have him back home" Donetris Scarbrough said. "It was his decision. At the end of the day, I just want him to be comfortable wherever he goes and have everyone support him. I look forward to the future."
Scarbrough is one of six five-star prospects in the Tide's class. Scarbrough has the ability to play multiple positions and is ranked as the nation's No. 2 athlete, according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
"From Coach (Nick) Saban's standpoint, he told me that I'll play running back," Scarbrough said.
Scarbrough rushed for 1,118 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior at IMG Academy and said he feels most comfortable at running back.
"We think Bo is a multi-talented guy, but we look at him as a running back first," Saban said. "He has really a diverse skill level for a big guy, he's a physical guy. He has really good running ability, but he also has great receiving skills. He's actually played as much wide receiver as he has running back."
But what about the Tide's never ending depth at running back? Scarbrough said he doesn't care how many guys are there because "it's all about competition."
"I think I bring a lot to the table," Scarbrough said. "I can be a (feature) player for that offense. I can play wide receiver. I can play tight end. I can play running back. As long as it's on the offensive side, I can do it."
Saban said the Tide hopes to maximize his skill set by having him contribute in other ways.
"Now, he's going to be a running back for us, but I'm saying all that to say as a running back we can use him in those kind of roles. If he can learn and be ready to help us, I think that because of the kind of player he is, maybe he will be able to contribute in other ways as a player besides running back. That's how we would use him as a running back, not playing him at another position."
Scarbrough said he improved as a player and a teammate while at IMG Academy.
"(I improved) my running style and being able to study a playbook the size of a textbook," he said. "Being able to get along with people from other countries. There was rarely people there from the U.S. There were people from all over the place and you have to know how to communicate."
Still, there is a lot of work for Scarbrough to do academically before enrolling at Alabama.
When asked about his academic status, he said "we're still working on it," but confirmed he expects to meet NCAA qualifications. He said he is currently taking a full course load at Tuscaloosa County High.