Tag Archives: recruiting

Quick Alabama basketball recruiting update on signing day

It was quiet. Very quiet.

Alabama did not receive any faxes on the first day of the spring signing period for basketball. Coach Anthony Grant’s program also didn’t add anyone in the early signing period.

The window remains open through mid-May so there’s still plenty of time for movement. And with the early departures of Charles Hankerson and Tony Mitchell, Alabama has three scholarships to play with.

Grant wouldn’t tip his hand when asked how he’d use those spots after Tuesday night’s team banquet.

“We’re actively recruiting right now and we’ll see what’s available to make our team better,” Grant said.


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Report: Alabama football signee suffers ‘significant’ injury playing soccer

Update April 15: Dalvin Tomlinson, who signed with the Tide in February, attended Saturday’s A-Day Game. The crutches and knee brace appeared to confirm the injury reported a few weeks ago.

Tomlinson on crutches.

Original post: Credit The Henry Daily Herald for breaking this one.

The news isn’t exactly positive for one of Alabama’s last-minute Class of 2012 recruiting scores.

Defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson suffered a “significant” knee injury while playing soccer, the Henry Daily Herald reports.

This wasn’t a recreational or pickup soccer game. The 6-2, 266-pound lineman plays on the Henry County High School soccer team.

(Click here to read the full, but brief story with a quote from the injured prospect)

Tomlinson was one of the two defensive linemen (along with Korren Kirven) who signed with the Tide without making a public commitment beforehand.  He was a consensus 4-star prospect rated among the top 45 defensive linemen by the major recruiting services.


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Reports: Alabama lands another football commitment

(Video courtesy of 247sports via YouTube)

The recruiting services are reporting Alabama landed another commitment for the Class of 2013.

Offensive lineman Andy Dodd of Pepperell, Ga., is reportedly the latest to send his pledge to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide program.

According to Rivals.com, who rated him a 3-star prospect, Dodd was also pursued by Southeastern schools like Clemson, Florida State, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech.

Scout.com hasn’t assigned star ratings yet, but Dodd’s profile listed scholarship offers from Georgia as well as those listed by Rivals.

He is the ninth public commitment made to the next Alabama class, though nothing is official until scholarship papers are signed next February.


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Reports: Alabama lands football commit

**Note to readers: Apparently this post was linked somewhere and is getting all kinds of traffic. I promise this is probably the least interesting story I’ve written. Check back regularly and follow me through social media for the good stuff.**

The recruiting sites are reporting on Alabama’s ninth commitment for the 2013 football class.

ESPN.com first reported Huntsville High offensive lineman Grant Hill gave his pledge to the Crimson Tide after attending junior day activities on Saturday.

Hill is a 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com. He stands 6-6 and weighs 315 pounds.

Click here for the story on ESPN.com or here for the Rivals.com version. You’ll need a subscription for both.

The list of high school juniors who’ve made public commitments now includes the following:

OL Bradley Bozeman, Roanoke, Ala.
DB Artie Burns, Miami, Fla.
WR Raheem Falkins, New Orleans, La.
LB Reuben Foster, LaGrange, Ga.
OL Grant Hill, Huntsville, Ala.
TE OJ Howard, Autauga, Ala.
RB Tyren Jones, Marietta, Ga.
ATH/WR Ardarius Stewart, Fultondale, Ala.
RB Altee Tenpenney, Little Rock, Ark.


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Alabama’s football recruiting budget nearly triples in four years

As the Alabama’s athletic department sustains solid profitability, it’s driving force doles out more every year to insure success.

Last 4 years. Click to enlarge.

Recruiting expenses for the Crimson Tide football program jumped again in 2011 to total $980,882, according to documents the school filed with the NCAA. That wasn’t a major bump from the $870,438 it spent in 2010, but it’s 2.7 times higher than the $360,327 it spent in 2008.

The expense represents only 3 percent of the total spent by the program, but its increase offers insight into the importance placed on drawing top athletes.

The $980,882 pays for transportation, lodging and meals for recruits and families during official and unofficial visits to campus. It also went to phone calls and postage for recruiting purposes.

It also paid for use of university vehicles and planes for in-home visits. I wrote about the dizzying schedule for N1UA — the school plane — for recruiting in 2010. Click here for the refresher.

And the investment has paid off.

Three of the last four Alabama’s recruiting classes topped at least one of the national rankings. Oh, and those prospects helped the Tide win two BCS national titles in three years.

For the sake of comparison, Auburn spent $678,936 on football recruiting in 2010 compared to $530,537 in 2008.


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First commitment of class makes it official (with video)

Here is the 12th fax to arrive in Tuscaloosa. This one shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

EDDIE WILLIAMS
Position: Athlete
Height, weight: 6-4, 215
School: Arnold; Panama City Beach, Fla.
Notes: Williams became the first commitment of the class in August of his junior year. … Scout ranks him the No. 3 safety in the country while Rivals and 247sports label him an athlete. Rivals ranked him first among athletes while 247sports said he’s No. 2. … Williams played in the Under Armour All-American game in January alongside several future teammates. He delivered a big hit to Miami commit Randy Johnson in the game.


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Could there be any signing day surprises?

It’s finally here. The most over-hyped day in college football begins now when fax machines fire up all over the country. Here’s what I wrote for today’s newspaper:

TUSCALOOSA — All is quiet as signing day begins in Tuscaloosa.

Maybe a little too quiet.

Alabama appears to have locked down one of the top football recruiting classes, with major scores in December and early January. Five-star players like T.J. Yeldon, Landon Collins and Cyrus Jones made huge commitments, and the Crimson Tide is hovering near the limit for signees.

“For the most part, there shouldn’t be a lot of drama on signing day,” said Scott Kennedy, the director of scouting for Scout.com. “You know, ho hum, another No. 1 class.”

But it’s not always that easy. Verbal commitments have a history of dissolving once the fax machine fires up at 7 a.m.

Anyone who watched the action a year ago saw the volatility among 18-year-olds facing a life-changing decision, broadcast on live, national television. There was Cyrus Kouandjio’s commitment to Auburn before switching back to Alabama a few weeks later. Brent Calloway also swapped the Tigers for the Tide on signing day, while Jeoffrey Pagan made the surprising decision for Alabama.

That unpredictability makes signing day the spectacle it has become.

And there are a few names still on the board who could opt for the Tide.

Click here to read the full story.


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Take a look inside how the recruiting services operate

On the eve of national signing day, this is an appropriate time to look back at a project I completed this time last year.

With all the focus placed on football recruiting, I thought it was important to look at the growing influence of the news services that feed the interest. So I wrote a multi-story package that ran before last signing day.

Take a look back since the idea behind remains relevant this year.

Story 1: Science of the stars

Not too long ago, Scott Kennedy’s friends thought he went nuts.

Follow recruiting?

As a career?

“Flash forward about five or six years and my friends’ wives are asking me where Terrelle Pryor was going to school,” Kennedy said.

And so the machine turns.

As the director of scouting at one of the two empires to college recruiting knowledge — Scout.com — the former high school soccer player and self-described “football geek” helped turn a hobby into a national obsession.

Annual subscriptions can run upwards of $100 for all the latest information, evaluations and insider information regarding the college decision-making process for 16-, 17- and 18-year-old blue-chip football and basketball players.

Click here to read the whole story.

Story 2: Coaches hope their puppies will hunt

TUSCALOOSA — The ink was barely dry on the 2010 signing class when Nick Saban stepped to the podium last February.

His preemptive strike was planned well in advance. He wasn’t waiting to face a single question about the strength of his latest recruiting class at the signing day news conference.

Saban said it was too early to claim victory or defeat with the 18 players who faxed their futures to Tuscaloosa that Wednesday morning.

Champions aren’t crowned by simply adding up stars on a website.

“Every year, I try to come up with some analogy to sort of put in perspective how you should rate recruiting classes,” Saban said that afternoon. “If we went out to buy a hunting dog and it was a puppy, we would buy it based on its potential, its lineage or whatever you want to call it in terms of breeding, and we would know probably when that dog grew up whether it was a good hunting dog or not. We’d never know until we put him out in the field and saw him actually go hunting, but we would buy it without knowing for sure what that result would be.

“I think recruiting is not an exact science and it takes about two years to really evaluate whether you had a good recruiting class or not.”

Click here for the rest.

Story 3: Saban’s 2008 recruiting class proved fruitful

TUSCALOOSA — The two main recruiting services don’t always agree, but there was a solid consensus achieved two years ago.

Nick Saban was sitting on a gold mine.

His signing class of 2008 sat atop both Scout.com and Rivals.com rankings of recruiting classes. The group was stockpiled with big-name prospects such as Julio Jones and Mark Barron.

But since the class also included a few high-profile misses, it’s an interesting study in how recruiting services can hit some spot-on and miss completely on others.

Rivals assigned just three stars to both Marcell Dareus and junior-college transfer Terrence Cody. Both were stars as Cody went in the second round of last year’s NFL draft and Dareus is expected to go in the first round this year.

Then there is the case of Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram — a three-star player coming out of Flint, Mich., according to Scout.

Click here to read the rest.


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Respect leaves top JUCO cornerback ‘bored’ at times

 

This is the third and final part of the recruiting profiles leading up to Wednesday’s big national signing day. Take a look at top-ranked junior college cornerback Travell Dixon:

TUSCALOOSA — Respect is the cornerback’s ultimate motivator.

Dixon

Earn too much, though, and the action goes elsewhere. That’s what Eastern Arizona College’s Travell Dixon learned last fall as the nation’s top junior college cornerback.

The same dominance that landed him a spot in Alabama’s signing class discouraged opponents from throwing his way.

“A lot of times he’s bored because we put him on the best and he locks him up and takes him away,” said John O’Mera, Dixon’s coach at Eastern Arizona. “It’s tough to evaluate him because somebody would try him every once in a while and he’d pick it. It was probably a boring year for him because not many people attempted to try him.”

At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds with a 4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash, he makes it hard for anyone to blame them.

That size makes him a logical candidate to replace the 6-3, 190-pound Dre Kirkpatrick, who left school a year early for the NFL draft.

Kirkpatrick also saw fewer balls thrown his direction as he proved himself in Tide coach Nick Saban’s defense, which is known for producing top defensive backs.

Saban also has a reputation for selectively recruiting junior college talent he thinks can contribute immediately.

Click here to read the rest of the story.


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Top JUCO cornerback, Tide commit ‘a model citizen’

Alabama landed the nation’s top junior college cornerback in Travell Dixon to help replace starters Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie.

Dixon

Coming from Eastern Arizona College, Dixon has the size of Kirkpatrick at 6-2, 190 pounds. His coach John O’Mera said Dixon also runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.

O’Mera couldn’t say enough about the character Dixon brought to Tuscaloosa.

“Not everybody can call on a junior college kid and say hey, this is a guy that’s just a great citizen,” O’Mera said. “We’ve never had any trouble with him. He’s a student that works real hard in the classroom and we never had any type of legal trouble or anything like that. He’s just been a model citizen and a model kid.”

Dixon was one of eight members of the 2012 class already on campus. He’ll be eligible for spring practice starting in March.

Click here to read more on recruiting and look for a full story on Dixon in tomorrow’s newspaper.


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Tide QB commit will prove recruiting services wrong say HS coach

 

This is Part II of III in the recruiting profile series leading up to Wednesday’s signing day. We feature quarterback Alec Morris in today’s newspaper.

TUSCALOOSA — Something about this recruiting process didn’t add up for Allen (Texas) High School coach Tom Westerberg.

Morris

His 6-3, strong-armed quarterback named Alec Morris has all the tools. Why isn’t he ranked among the nation’s elite?

Morris was rated a 3-star prospect on the 5-star scale used by the major recruiting services. Rivals.com ranked him the 30th-best quarterback in the country while Scout said he was No. 37. Only a few schools offered scholarships.

After he first committed to Wake Forest, Alabama entered the picture. Morris changed his pledge to the Tide in August and will sign as the only quarterback in Alabama’s class Wednesday.

“Once he gets there and people see him, they’ll figure out why we couldn’t figure out why he didn’t have more offers,” Westerberg said.

So Morris was undervalued in the recruiting process?

“I know he is,” Westerberg said. “He’ll be playing at Alabama and I wouldn’t doubt he’ll be playing past that at the next level.”

Scott Kennedy, the director of scouting for Scout.com, said the class of 2012 wasn’t “a strong year for quarterbacks.

“It was Jameis Winston or bust for me,” he said referencing the Hueytown quarterback committed to Florida State. “You see Alec Morris here, he’s serviceable. Alabama hasn’t needed to have Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley or Matt Stafford out there to win. So field generals are good.”

Click here to read the whole story for free.


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HS coach says Tide QB commit is perfect fit

Alabama took a few shots at the biggest quarterback prospects in the country for the 2012 signing class.

Morris

Jameis Winston said no thanks. Gunner Kiel also passed. So that left Alec Morris, the Texas quarterback who chose the Tide after originally committing to Wake Forest.

He’s a consensus 3-star recruit from football-mad Allen High School. (Read about it’s $60 million stadium here)

Morris’ high school coach Tom Westerberg said the the 6-foot-3 passer with a strong right arm will fit right into Alabama’s offense.

“He is more of a pro-style quarterback than the college spread quarterback that’s going to go run the ball all over the place,” Westerberg said. “It’s more of a game manager, but if you look at the national championship game, they won it because they could throw the football. That’s what Alec brings to the table.”

Read much more about Morris in tomorrow’s newspaper.


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Top-ranked kicking recruit knows pressure moments

Give a read over the first of three recruiting profiles that you can see in the next few newspapers. Today, the subject is kicker and Alabama commit  Adam Griffith.

TUSCALOOSA — From his seat in Bryant-Denny Stadium on an early November night, Adam Griffith saw the perils of college football kicking.

Griffith

He was on a visit the day Crimson Tide specialists missed four of six kicks in the 9-6 overtime loss to LSU. It made an impact.

“I think for the first time there, he felt the pressure of being a college kicker,” said Hal Lamb, Griffith’s high school coach.

As the nation’s No. 1 high school place-kicker, according to two recruiting services, the Calhoun (Ga.) High School senior faced his share of tense moments. That, and his character, Lamb said, should help his transition to college.

Griffith is committed to sign as part of Alabama’s top-ranked recruiting class Wednesday. Less than two months earlier, the weight of a state championship landed on the shoulders of the Polish-born kicker.

Foreshadowing Jeremy Shelley’s five-kick BCS title game performance, Griffith nailed four in the Class AA title game Dec. 9. His 32-yarder in overtime beat Buford, led by fellow Alabama commit Dillon Lee, 27-24 after making a 46-yard field goal earlier in the game.

Lamb said Griffith was true from as deep as 52 yards in the undefeated run to the Georgia Dome this past fall.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to put him out there 55 or less,” Lamb said. “It didn’t matter what the conditions were. He’s a special talent. That’s for sure.”

Click here to read the rest.


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How much drama left for Alabama signing class?

Remember last signing day? It was an incredible mix of indecision, changing decisions, and decidedly high levels of excitement.

So, about that sequel … Expect something on the lines of “Speed 2” if you’re looking for the action-packed thrill ride of the year.

“For the most part, there shouldn’t be a lot of drama on signing day,” said Scott Kennedy, the director of scouting for Scout.com. “You know, ho hum, another No. 1 class.”

The defending national champion Crimson Tide is a virtual lock to land the top recruiting class when scholarships are signed next Wednesday.

Alabama holds a healthy lead over consensus No. 2 Texas according to all three major recruiting services.

Click each site name for its respective team rankings:

There’s always room for some last-second craziness, but Alabama already has 27 public commitments for the 25 scholarships it’s allowed to award. We’ll address how that affects things at a later date.

Click here for more information on recruiting.


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Top-ranked kicker, Tide commit performs in clutch

In a recruiting class packed with 5-star names like T.J. Yeldon and Landon Collins, a 3-star guy named Adam Griffith is easily missed.

Griffith (Photo by Scout.com)

But the Calhoun (Ga.) High School senior is the top-ranked kicker in the country. He’s got a big leg and proved himself in the clutch.

Griffith kicked four field goals in the Class AA state title game win over Buford (home to Tide commit Dillion Lee). The 32-yarder in overtime won it. See video of the kick below.

Booting the kickoffs this season, 82 percent were touchbacks and YouTube videos show several landing behind the end zone.

“Not only does he kick the ball far, but he kicks the ball high,” said Hal Lamb, his coach as Calhoun High School. “I think that’s what coach (Nick) Saban likes. He likes height on the ball. He gets the ball high on his extra points and field goals as well.”

Read more about Griffith and the rest of the Alabama recruiting class in the coming days. Now, here’s the video of his state championship game winner.

 


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