BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Alabama coaches are covering plenty of ground in a search for a quarterback in the 2015 signing class.
Travis Waller, who stars at Servite High School in Anaheim, Calif., recently picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide. Waller, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 195 pounds according to Servite head coach A.J. Gass, is a four-star prospect on 247Sports and rated as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the country by that service.
Gass said he spoke with Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin on May 5 when Kiffin was in the area. He came to watch Waller throw and extended an offer over the weekend.
"He was very excited," Gass said of Waller. "The attention of getting a school like Alabama to notice you is really, really something to be proud of. The tradition they have of winning, the exposure and the SEC, all the big things you think about in college football, you think about Alabama. For Travis, that's a really big offer for him and something he's really mulling over very seriously."
According to Waller's 247Sports player profile, he threw for 1,669 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a junior while rushing for 1,293 yards and 13 touchdowns. Gass said Waller was thrown into the fire as a sophomore due to an injury to the starting quarterback, but Waller beat out the same starting quarterback in a close battle that was decided two weeks before the season opener.
"After the very first game, we realized he was the guy we were going to roll with," Gass said. "Every single week, Travis got a little bit better. He's a very dynamic kid running the ball. Athletically, he's like a linebacker in the backfield. When he's got to stand back and throw, he's got great arm strength and tremendous accuracy. He's truly one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation."
Servite runs a spread, four-wide offense under Gass, a former Fresno State player and linebacker for the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos.
"We like to work the field with not only a running quarterback but one who can use his arm as well," Gass said.
"I don't know what other quarterbacks (Alabama has) offered. All I know is that we've got one of the best in the nation. The university would be really, really lucky to get a quarterback of Travis' caliber."
Gass said Waller has close to 15 offers, and listed Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Utah, Northwestern, California, BYU, Arizona, Virginia, Penn State and Fresno State as some of the other schools who have offered.
Ohio State and Oregon are linked closely with Waller, but they have not yet offered. Even so, 11 of the 12 predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball have Waller choosing Oregon.
It's a long way from Signing Day. Gass said Waller originally wanted to commit before his senior season.
"I don't know if that still holds true," Waller said. "He's really taking it seriously and weighing his options and see what best fits him and his academics going forward."
Distance won't be an obstacle, as Waller holds offers from all over the country. Waller told 247Sports that Alabama and Northwestern were high on his list.
"When you get opportunities that could end up taking you anywhere, I know he's going to make the decision based on what's best for him and his future," Gass said. "If that means packing your bags, then he's packing his bags."
247Sports reported that Waller earned an invite to the National Elite 11 Competition, which runs in conjunction with The Opening. That's held at the Nike World Headquarters from July 5-10. Waller rose from unranked to No. 104 in the Rivals250 ranks, released on Tuesday.
Gass said that Waller will take some unofficial visits in June, but hasn't set any in stone yet.
"He's still trying to figure out the top schools he wants to attend and what's the best way to see as many schools as possible without breaking the bank on plane tickets," Gass said.