2022 offensive tackle Elijah Pritchett announced his college decision today live on CBS Sports from Columbus, Georgia, where the standout prospect attends Carver High and where he's committed to play football at Alabama.
With his commitment, Pritchett chose the Crimson Tide over in-state Georgia, Florida State and Southern Cal, and the offensive tackle makes the 15th overall pledge of the 2022 class for Alabama.
"It's 'Bama," Pritchett told SI All-American. "The moment I knew it was 'Bama was the first moment I arrived on campus. I felt the vibe, energy from the players, from the coaches and even from the teachers."
He last visited Tuscaloosa on September 11 when Alabama hosted Mercer, with multiple recruiting trips taken earlier in the calendar. A week later, though, he visited Georgia for the South Carolina game in Athens.
But Alabama was too much to pass up for Pritchett, and the Crimson Tide coach was one of the first to find out before the decision was made public.
"I told [Nick] Saban first," Pritchett said. "It started off with me and my family, and we were all in his office. He was talking and he asked me if I had any questions, so that's when I decided. I was like, 'I really feel like this could be home and I would like to commit.'"
Currently, Pritchett is ranked by SI All-American as the top senior offensive tackle in the nation, and his commitment gives Alabama its third pledge along the offensive line, joining fellow tackles Tyler Booker and Dayne Shor who both announced their decisions to join the Crimson Tide in the summer.
And each of the offensive lineman has credited first-year position coach Doug Marrone, too, for steering them to Tuscaloosa in the recruiting process. Pritchett, along with Booker and Shor, have all praised the former NFL head coach.
"He's a great coach," Pritchett said. "He's somebody that I have gained a lot of respect for in a couple of months. My family loves him a lot, so that's a good thing."
Meanwhile, his visit to Tuscaloosa a few weeks ago was the second time he'd visited Alabama and the Crimson Tide program. Not to say there wasn't an in-state pull by the Bulldogs and coach Kirby Smart, because Georgia made it close after Pritchett visited.
He'd even narrowed his choices from four to two within the last month. But still, the temptation of playing for the Crimson Tide was too appealing to ignore.
"It was really tough, the toughest battle was between Alabama and Georgia. I got love for Georgia," he said, followed by what he couldn't refuse about the program in Tuscaloosa.
"Alabama stood out in a lot of ways, really. Winning national championships, the people and everyone gives me a higher chance to get to the next chapter."
Pritchett is the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2022 class.
SI All-American scouting report:
School: Columbus (Ga.) Carver
"Pritchett barely takes the top spot here in a top-heavy class at the position in the 2022 cycle. With elite length and measurables, Pritchett brings an unmatched level of athleticism on a freakish frame. He has an effortless kick slide on the left side of the offensive line and he plays with tremendous anger and aggression. He can play high at times, something that a little coaching will clean up, but otherwise a flawless prospect."