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BAMA'S 2013 CLASS FILLING UP FAST Recruiting Update Print E-mail
Monday, 16 July 2012

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BAMA'S 2013 CLASS FILLING UP FAST
Recruiting Update

It's only July, but Alabama is close to wrapping up its 2013 recruiting class. The Tide has 18 commitments, though one or two of those have academic hurdles to clear before they can sign next February. Early word was that UA would sign a maximum of 22 or 23 in this class. But don't be surprised if the Tide takes the full allotment of 25. Here's a look at the how the class might shape up.

SUMMER DECISIONS COMING
Two players slated to make their decisions this summer are Durham-Hillside, NC, tight end Josh McNeil (6-5, 235) and Jacksonville-Sandalwood, FL, defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker. McNeil will choose between Alabama and Georgia sometime later this summer. Walker, who is still considering Alabama, Auburn, Florida, FSU, LSU, Tennessee, and USC, will announce on August 3rd.

The consensus is that McNeil will pick Alabama. But a few Georgia sources insist that the Bulldogs are the team to beat. McNeil has said recently that Alabama is still his favorite. So unless something changes, it would appear that the Tide is the frontrunner for his commitment.

As for DeMarcus Walker, the prediction here is that he picks Alabama. The 6-3, 285-pound Walker is a very talented player and would be a major boost to UA's class, as there are very few top defensive line-types left for the picking.

BACKS LINING UP FOR BAMA
Running back Derrick Henry (6-3, 240, 4.58) of Yulee, FL, recently visited Alabama. Following the trip he immediately issued a press release that he was decommitting from Georgia. Henry has talked about other schools, but the feeling is that Alabama will be tough to beat, and it won't be a surprise if he makes a decision before the end of the summer.

If Henry selects the Tide, UA will have commitments from three blue-chip running backs. The two already committed are Tyren Jones (5-9, 205, 4.45) of Marietta-Walton, GA, and Altee Tenpenny (5-11, 210, 4.45) of North Little Rock, AR.

Nothing is written in stone, but if Henry picks Alabama, it's hard to figure another running back in this class. But there are a couple of others to keep an eye on.

The Tide is slated to get a visit in July from the nation's top running back, Derrick Green (5-11, 215, 4.4) of Richmond-Hermitage, VA. Green has offers from almost every school in the country. He lists the Tide among his chief favorites, but the guess is he'll land at another school.

Alvin Kamara (5-10, 195, 4.4) of Norcross, GA, is another dynamite running back who has been strongly linked to Alabama for several months. Kamara has the athleticism to play other positions, including wide receiver or cornerback, but he's told TI that he wants to be a running back in college.

MORE TIGHT ENDS TO WATCH
In addition to Josh McNeil, Alabama is in on tight ends Greg Taboada (6-5, 243) of Atlanta-Marist and Hunter Henry (6-5, 240) of Little Rock-Pulaski Academy, AR.

Taboada says that he is still defining his favorites, but that Alabama would be in his top three. Sources say that Hunter Henry also has Alabama very high among his favorites. Henry has said that he plans to be in Tuscaloosa sometime this month.

ONE MORE O-LINEMAN?
One of the top priorities in the class of 2013 is the offensive line. The UA staff seems to have done a great job solidifying the spot with commitments from OG/T Grant Hill (6-6. 297) of Huntsville, C/G Andy Dodd (6-4, 313) of Lindale-Pepperell, GA, OG/T Bradley Bozeman (6-5, 305) of Roanoke-Handley, and junior college standout LT Leon Brown (6-6, 308) of ASA College in Brooklyn, NY.

It's expected that UA will take one more offensive lineman in this class. Laremy Tunsil (6-6, 295) of Lake City-Columbia, FL, is one of the nation's most highly-regarded tackles. Tunsil has Alabama in his top three, along with Florida and Georgia.

The offensive lineman to watch is New Orleans-McDonogh 35, LA, standout Kenneth Santa Marina. The 6-4, 330-pound Marina is the odds on favorite to become the final offensive lineman taken in this class.

TIDE AFTER PENNSYLVANIA RECEIVER
At wide receiver, the Tide's best shot appears to be Robert Foster (6-3, 185, 4.5) of Monaca-Central Valley, PA. A source close to Central Valley head coach Mark Lyons has told Tider Insider's Rodney Orr that if an out-of-state school has a chance to lure Foster, it would probably be Alabama. The source says that Pitt probably has the inside track.

Foster has also been linked to Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, and others. The sleek receiver is expected to make his second visit to UA in July.

CASE FOR THE DEFENSE
In addition to DeMarcus Walker on the defensive side, Robert Nkemdiche (6-5, 282) of Loganville-Grayson, GA, seems to still have the Tide very much on his mind. Nkemdiche, the nation's number one prospect, committed to Clemson last week. But as the recruiting process goes on, the Nkemdiche situation will be worth watching.

A personal favorite is Hope Mills-South View, NC, defensive end Greg Gilmore. The 6-4, 290-pound Gilmore just has the look of a future star. Gilmore was in Tuscaloosa for UA's camp two Saturdays ago and came away highly impressed. But it might be a little too late, as LSU sources are convinced that the Tigers have Gilmore locked up.

Montravius Adams (6-4, 296) of Dooly County HS in Vienna, GA, was also on campus the same day as Gilmore. Following the visit, Adams said that Alabama had always been among his favorites, but the Tide seems like a long shot to gain his signature.

IS DEE LINER OPEN TO ALABAMA?
Publicly, the 6-3, 270-pound defensive lineman from Muscle Shoals says he has no interest in the Tide, and that he's firmly committed to Auburn. Maybe he'll stick with his commitment, but several sources say that he's still thinking about Alabama, LSU, and USC.

There are other defensive linemen on the board, and a junior college DL could emerge later.

LINEBACKERS ARE PLENTIFUL
At linebacker, Alabama still has a commitment from Reuben Foster (6-1, 250) of Auburn HS. The Tide also has its eyes on Matthew Thomas (6-4, 205) of Miami-Washington. Thomas has UA among his favorites, but the guess is that he ends up staying closer to home.

Another linebacker to keep an eye on is camp standout Shaun McGee of Brookwood HS in Snellville, GA. Immediately upon receiving an offer from UA earlier this month, the 6-2, 230-pound McGee declared Alabama his favorite.

ANOTHER CORNER AND BIG SAFETY
UA is looking for another corner to go with the commitments it has from Anthony Averett (5-11, 170, 4.45) of Woodbury, NJ, and Maurice Smith (6-0, 180, 4.5) of Sugar Land-Dulles, TX.

It doesn't seem that the Tide is ready to put the full-court press on Brentwood Academy, TN, star Jalen Ramsey just yet. The 6-1, 187-pound Ramsey is an outstanding athlete with numerous offers. UA certainly has interest in Ramsey. It'll be interesting to see if the Tide makes a strong push soon.

Marquez White (6-1, 175, 4.5) of Dothan-Northview is a lifelong Alabama fan that is committed to Florida State. White, who recently landed an Alabama offer, plans to visit UA in July.

Alabama would like to add a big safety to this class. Antonio Conner (6-1, 218) of Batesville-South Panola, MS, and Holland Fisher (6-1, 197) of Midlothian-Manchester, VA, fit that mold.

Followers of recruiting know that it's next to impossible to beat Ole Miss for a player from South Panola. But word is out at South Panola that Conner, one of the nation's elite prospects, is looking to cut his own path. No doubt Ole Miss will have to be dealt with until the end, but Alabama and Mississippi State appear to be two of the favorites.

Fisher, a very highly regarded prospect, is committed to Virginia Tech, but has not ruled out Alabama and hopes to visit Tuscaloosa this summer.


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