Senior defensive back/wide receiver DeMarcco Hellams sat in front of family members, and his DeMatha teammates with a Alabama cap placed on his head, as he signed with the Crimson Tide on Wednesday during National Signing Day.
For Hellams, officially signing with Alabama means ending a long yet rewarding process that started when he was a freshman at DeMatha.
“It’s been a long process ever since my freshman year,” Hellams said. “Talking to different coaches and players about the program, and seeing how the program fits me. It’s a release off my shoulders, and it’s great be able to get a free education at a great program like Alabama.”
Hellams was heavily recruited by some of the top schools in the country like Ohio State, Clemson, Notre Dame and Michigan. This comes at no surprise, as Hellams is rated a four-star, and ranked the seventh best safety in the country and the third best player in Maryland from the 2019 class.
Hellams felt the Crimson Tide’s winning culture, and the coaching staff’s ability to develop players stood out from other schools that were recruiting him.
“I built a great relationship with the coaches and with the players,” Hellams said. “The culture and the tradition of winning. The players and coaches hold each other accountable. I think the program fits me well as far as my skill level. I think [Alabama] gives me the best chance at making it to the next level.”
Hellams developed a strong relationship with Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. Hellams talks to Saban on a weekly basis and tries to learn as much as he can from him.
“We talk weekly,” Hellams said. “I’m always in contact with him after every big game just in case I need something to discuss. He is always available for me. The other coaches on the staff always hit me up to make sure I’m doing well.”
Hellams admires Saban’s coaching resume, which he feels stands out from other head coaches around the country.
“His resume and the way he develop his players is unmatched,” Hellams said. “His is hands on with his defensive backs and every position. His teams are always in big games.”
Hellams has played well offensively and defensively at DeMatha. However, Hellams will stick to playing defensive back when he goes to Alabama.
Hellams feels his size fits better as a safety compared to a receiver on the college level.
“My size translates better on the defensive side of the ball,” Hellams said. “The offense is getting bigger with the receivers [Alabama] are recruiting. I’m a much bigger defensive back than I am as a receiver. For my potential to be reach at the highest level it can be, it’s on the defensive side of the ball.”
Hellams is coming off a senior season where he tallied 1,469 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. Defensively, Hellams registered 91 tackles and 12 interceptions. Hellams was named All-Met Player of the Year by the Washington Post, which was a goal he set for himself since he has been at DeMatha.
“It’s something I wrote down throughout my high school career,” Hellams said. “It was a goal of mine to get recognition from coaches and the people that chose me for the award.”
Hellams hopes he is remembered as one of the best players to ever put on a DeMatha uniform.
“I want to be remembered as one of the greatest people to ever come to DeMatha,” Hellams said. “I did work on both sides of the ball and gave it my all at DeMatha.”