Quarterback Ty Simpson, the No. 27-ranked recruit overall in the 2022 class, committed to Alabama on Friday.
The No. 2 dual-threat signal-caller chose the Crimson Tide over Clemson, Tennessee and UT Martin, and is now the highest-ranked commit in Alabama's 2022 class. Simpson is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback from Westview High School in Martin, Tennessee, and had somewhat of a winding road to get to this commitment.
"It was really between Alabama, Clemson and Tennessee," Simpson said. "They were all neck and neck. In the beginning of the year I was going to go to Tennessee. But then with Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt [getting fired], I started to think I was going to go to Clemson. I started to really think about what are my aspirations, my dreams and what I want in a program. So I thought the best place for me would be the University of Alabama."
UT Martin made his final list because his father, Jason Simpson, is the head football coach there. The son was giving his dad's school some national recognition as a thank-you for the help he provided Ty throughout the recruiting process.
"I've definitely leaned on him for advice, and he's had many conversations with coaches," Simpson said. "It's really cool to get his perspective, but I've been experiencing it for a while now, being a coach's son. I know what it takes and what goes on in recruiting. I know it's a business.
"To be able to experience it with my own recruitment was awesome."
His father told him to write down what he wanted to accomplish in college and pick the school that would help him accomplish those goals. His aspirations included making it to the NFL. With former NFL head coach Bill O'Brien now the offensive coordinator at Alabama, and with Nick Saban's track record for sending his players to the NFL, Alabama felt like the right choice.
"It's very cool because [O'Brien] tells me stories about the NFL and we have watched tape on the NFL and Deshaun Watson, [and] of course Tom Brady, to show the similarities in what they're going to do on offense this year," Simpson said. "It's really cool to be at the biggest stage of football and play for a guy who's been there and knows what it takes to get there."
That experience in the NFL, the production and success Alabama has seen over the years and the stability Saban has created were all factors in his decision. His commitment gives Alabama two ESPN Jr. 300 commitments in the class, as he joins linebacker Robert Woodyard, and also keeps a top quarterback from going to Clemson or Tennessee.
"It was a super hard decision because all those programs have what I would ever want," Simpson said. "But what it came down to was closer to home, player development, playing with the best guys and getting prepared for the NFL. Bill O'Brien, who coached the Texans, Doug Marrone, who coached the Jacksonville Jaguars, and of course Coach Saban.
"Getting to learn from those guys every single day I'm in school there and while playing football, it's something I've dreamed of."