2023 marks the third consecutive year in which Charles Lester III has made it out to Alabama’s campus. The five-star cornerback visited in summer of 2021, twice last year, and most recently on April 20.
BamaInsider drove up to Riverview High School in Sarasota (Fla.) this week to speak with Lester about his recent trip and overall interest level in the Crimson Tide.
“Bama, it was another great experience” Lester told us. “Being able to get my first chance to see practice and see what they do behind closed doors. Just sticking around the cornerback group and watching Coach [Travaris Robinson] and Coach Saban coach those athletes… just getting a feel of what a day at Alabama would be like if I were to take that opportunity.”
A consistent theme around Alabama this spring in our conversations with recruits has been the intensity level in the practices. Lester got an up-close look at the competition amongst the players and the standard they’re held to by the coaches.
“It’s real competitive, and the coaches are real. They mean what they say,” Lester said. “They’re all up on the kids. They love them up, too, but at the same time, they treat everyone the same. They push everyone to go hard. There isn’t any favoritism to the best person on the team or the least-contributing person on the team; they coach everyone the same. They hold the same standard for everyone. I like the way practice was handled and the way they operate.”
With four unofficial visits under his belt, the next step will be to get on campus for an official visit. Lester informed us that he is slated to take his official to Alabama the first weekend of June. He’ll also take official visits to Ohio State (June 16-18), Georgia June (23-25), and Florida State (undetermined date) that month.
Those are his top four schools, though Lester admitted that FSU is the leader for him right now.
Charles Lester: Alabama is the No. 1 school for production
Keeping close tabs on the cornerbacks last Thursday, Lester got to watch Coach Saban work with the position group. He opened up about what it would mean for him to learn under Saban’s tutelage at the next level.
“It’s a great opportunity, and Alabama is one of the highest schools I’m looking at between these four schools,” Lester said. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be coached by the greatest coach in college football. At that position, I could go play for his team and I will be right there where he does all his work at with the cornerback position. That’s awesome.”
As for why Alabama will receive an official visit and is in his top four, Lester pointed to their history of development.
“Alabama has been and still is the No. 1 school for production, the No. 1 place to go learn at,” Lester said. “They almost guarantee you a lot of improvement from when you walk in to when you walk out. It’s just a winner’s atmosphere. … They win and they’re known for having a great football team.”
When discussing his recruitment in general, Lester made it clear that he’s not close to a decision. The goal is to commit in December, but Lester isn’t in a rush right now.
“I’m just taking my time to see what’s going to be the best opportunity for me,” he said. “A lot has to do with me being close to FSU, but it can’t just be about that. I have to take my time to figure out what is the best situation and opportunity for me.”
Alabama fans, also be sure to join the discussion about Charles Lester on the Talk of Champions message board. There’s always a lot of great team, recruiting, and off-topic conversations going on. So, we look forward to talking with you all there!
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