Foley Star Commits Early
Posted Jan 24, 2008

Austin Sidwell plays center for Coach Todd Watson's Lions and has been a starter since his freshman year. He's seen his Lions go from 0-10 in his freshman season, hire Coach Todd Watson and go on to win 30 games and make a trip to the semi-finals of the state playoffs.

Sidwell pledged last Thursday to the Falcons of the Air Force Academy football team. The 6-1, 255-pound center is president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society member. He was awarded 2007's Honor, Courage and commitment award by the U.S. Marine Corp. He was also honored by the U.S. Army Reserve as a scholar athlete.

"Football wise, I like the coaches," Sidwell said of his likes for the Air Force program. "I went out there this summer on a recruiting trip to check it out, and I loved the coaches, the offensive line coach and the head coach."

"That was a lot of the reason, and then for the Air Force Academy just works for my kind of engineering, aerospace engineering. I want to be a pilot."

"I got my offer last Thursday. I didn't go on an official visit because of the summer trip. I met all the coaches and saw everything then."

When asked of playing time Sidwell said, "I don't really know on playing time. The academies don't redshirt players. I know they do have a junior varsity that does kind of plays inter-league with other schools that a lot of their younger players play on, but we haven't really talked about playing time that much."

"I know I will be playing center unless something happens, but that is what they are recruiting me for."

Sidwell has another arm of the services knocking on his door as well.

"The Naval Academy was another school that was looking at me for football." he said. "I've been up there this summer, and also I went up there on a visit for a week to a camp. I've gotten a couple of smaller schools looking at me too."

The coaching change at Navy had little effect on Sidwell, but he heard from someone familiar. "I was getting recruited for Georgia Tech a little bit," he said.

Sidwell touched on his time at Foley High School.

"It's been great for me. When I was a freshman we were 0-10, as you probably already know. It was tough. Me and Julio (Jones) were the two freshman that played on the varsity that year. We were the last two that remained from that 0-10 season, so to go from that to having coach Watson there and win 30 games over the past three years, it's been amazing," Sidwell said.

"It's nothing I really expected, and coach Watson and the coaching staff were great. I have really enjoyed it."

"All the players are really close. That's a lot of what helped us this year and the last couple of years is the players have been really close."

When asked of other official visits, "I don’t know," Sidwell answered. "I might take one to Navy. I'm not sure, but the Air Force I'm not going to. I've already been there to see what I need to see." source for Alabama high school football.

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