HAMTILON, Ga. -- Four years and three high schools later, LaMichael Fanning chose the University of Alabama to further his football and academic career.
Fanning, wearing a red tie with white “A’s”, signed his national letter-of-intent with the Tide on Wednesday, national signing day, in the library of Harris County High School.
According to Rivals.com, the 6-foot-7, 275-pound defensive tackle is a four-star tackle who’s ranked 25th at his position nationally and 21st overall in Georgia.
He was a preseason Ledger-Enquirer Dandy Dozen pick.
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Fanning chose Alabama over Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas Tech.
It had been a whirlwind week with Fanning visiting Auburn this past weekend. Fanning said the visit didn’t mean much.
“I took my visit because everybody took all of theirs,” he said. “But in the end, I just had a lot of relationships with a lot of people at Alabama.”
Fanning’s road through high school hasn’t been easy. He started at Harris County before transferring to Callaway his sophomore year. He played at Auburn High his junior year and came back to Harris County his senior year.
His mom, Sherry, said the first two moves were about Fanning.
“I was trying to get him to focus more,” she said. The move back to Harris County was for a different job.
“It meant a lot to us that Alabama was so loyal through all of the stuff we’ve been through,” Sherry Fanning said. “(LaMichael) is a real people person, and (Alabama) gave me the comfort that they are going to build him up.”
LaMichael said his time will the Crimson Tide will be all about the process, something coach Nick Saban preaches.
“It’s a big process,” Fanning said. “The coaches have always been close. I could see myself developing more with them.
“They expect me to come in my sophomore or junior year and be one of the main ones to switch in.”
Fanning admitted he doesn’t know if he’ll redshirt this upcoming season or not. In the meantime, he’s focusing on his schoolwork.
“I’m working hard, but this is outstanding,” he said. “My heart’s beating twice as fast.
“I’m real blessed, and I thank God. I never gave up.”
Fanning and the Harris County football team had a falling out of sorts. He was suspended for the Oct. 22 game against Upson-Lee then did not show up to practice the following week. He didn’t play another game.
“LaMichael has had a lot of people help him along the way,” Harris County coach Tommy Parks said, “But as an individual, he has an opportunity for him to improve and better his life and his family’s life.”
Fanning, 19, is the youngest of Sherry Fanning’s three children.
“It’s one of those great moments,” she said. “It’s something great to happen with our family.”
With his immediate future still up in the air, Fanning said he’s just looking forward to playing.
“I just love tackling people,” he said. “I love coming off that ball and looking for that quarterback.”