Mountain Brook's Pell passes on scholarship to walk on at Alabama

A chance at a free education was no match for Buddy Pell's deep routed love of the Crimson Tide.

The Mountain Brook star has decided to walk-on at Alabama next season rather than accept a full scholarship to Jacksonville State.

Pell led the Spartans in tackles each of the last three years, moving between linebacker and safety based on team need. His high school coach understands the Alabama appeal.

"It's not just a game to a kid from Alabama. It's in their heart," Chris Yeager told "They are getting another person in their program and in their locker room where football and Alabama football means every thing to him and it has been for a long time."

Yeager says Pell, who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 190-pounds, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds. By accepting Alabama's "preferred walk-on" offer, Pell will continue his family's SEC ties.

Grandfather Charley Pell was the head coach of the Florida Gators from 1979-1984.