Tag Archives: recruiting

Dennis Dodd: Potential deregulations make Saban a scary force

Dennis Dodd with CBS Sports published a column Tuesday morning on the potential changes the NCAA could make to recruiting, stripping several limitations on the process and giving coaches more power and opportunities to contact recruits.

Here is a piece of it.

So this isn’t so much about protecting the parents or the kids or the coaches’ workloads. This is about ending the Alabama Nicktatorship.

“Some school is going to want to get on the high dive with this and go all in and spend and spend,” Georgia AD Greg McGarity told the New York Times.

Some school? One school already is quicker, faster, bigger and better. Unleashed from recruiting restrictions you bet your assistant director of quality control Alabama is going to get stronger. Its 14 coaches allowed on the recruiting trail — up from seven according to the new legislation — are better than your 14.

Everything else being equal, it’s been a while since Alabama was anything but equal.

Click here to read the full column.

Alabama picks up a defensive back commitment

Photo of Eddie Jackson he posted on his Twitter account this morning.

Photo of Eddie Jackson he posted on his Twitter account this morning.

Defensive back Eddie Jackson announced this morning he has chosen Alabama, which gives the Crimson Tide 22 commitments for its 2013 recruiting class.

At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Jackson is rated a four-star athlete by 247sports.com and a three-star wide receiver by Scout and Rivals. He attends Boyd Anderson High in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., and made his announcement through his Twitter account. The school also announced the news through its account on Twitter.

Jackson visited Florida State three weekends ago, Alabama two weekends ago and LSU this past weekend.

At Boyd Anderson, Jackson made 32 catches for 639 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also returned two interceptions, two kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns. According to the Miami Herald, he scored on a 73-yard punt return, an 89-yard fumble return and producing two more turnovers with a forced fumble and an interception against Ely.

Some video of Jackson:

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Tide gets commitment from familiar face for 2013 recruiting class

Alabama got a Christmas present today when offensive lineman Brandon Hill committed to the Crimson Tide, according to multiple published reports.

The 6-foot-6, 350-pound Hill has taken a winding route to Tuscaloosa. He signed with Alabama in February out of St. George’s High in Collierville, Tenn., but didn’t qualify academically.

He spent this fall at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va., and committed to Ole Miss in November. He is Alabama’s 21st commitment and is set to enroll in time to attend classes in January.

In 2011, Hill helped St. George’s to the Tennessee Division II-A title after losing in the championship game a year earlier. Out of high school, Rivals.com and Scout.com rated him as a three-star prospect.

Here’s video of some of his senior year highlights, courtesy of 247sports.com:

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Foster flips commitment from Tide to Auburn

One of the nation’s top football prospects, linebacker Reuben Foster, announced Thursday he has switched his commitment from Alabama to rival Auburn.

MaxPreps rates Foster as the nation’s No. 3 prospect for the class of 2013, while Rivals.com rates him No. 1 in the state, No. 1 among the nation’s inside linebackers and No. 2 overall.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds by Rivals, Foster committed to Alabama on July 18, 2011, while he was a student at Troup County High in LaGrange, Ga. Following a coaching change, he transferred to Auburn High.

As a junior at Troup, he had 185 tackles and 14 sacks for a team that posted a 9-3 record.

“I have a lot of respect for Alabama, the coaches, and all of the people there and the fans, but at the end of the day I feel like Auburn University is the best place for me and my family,” Foster told reporters at a Thursday news conference at his high school’s cafeteria. “I am 100 percent confident with my final decision. I feel great about my decision and I’m excited to get started.”

Foster is Auburn’s 16th commitment in the 2013 class. He is one of three five-star commitments. The others are Muscle Shoals defensive end Dee Liner and Alpharetta (Ga.) High defensive end Carl Lawson.

According to Rivals’ rankings, Auburn has the No. 11 class nationally, while Alabama, with 17 commitments, is ranked No. 7. Michigan is No. 1.

Alabama reportedly lands large recruit


(High school footage of Brown)

For now, Alabama’s offensive line is stacked. But a year from now? Well, there will be holes.

Brown

With three starters likely entering their final year of eligibility, Alabama will need help right away. That’s where Leon Brown fits in.

The 6-foot-6, 310-pound junior college tackle committed to the Crimson Tide on Sunday, the recruiting services reported. Entering his second year at Asa College in Brooklyn, N.Y., Brown could be expected to fill in quickly upon arrival in Tuscaloosa with right tackle D.J. Fluker projected to be a first-round draft pick in 2013.

Alabama coach Nick Saban typically only recruits junior college players who are expected to contribute immediately. Tackle James Carpenter worked straight into the starting lineup after two JUCO seasons in 2009. He was drafted in the first round two years later by the Seattle Seahawks.

Coming out of Parkdale (Md.) High School, Rivals.com listed his only scholarship offers came from Marshall and New Mexico. Brown was not listed on the rankings for junior college prospects for the 2013 recruiting class by the major services.

Brown is the 17th player to publically commit to Alabama’s Class of 2013. Verbal pledges are non-binding before scholarship papers can be signed in February.

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There’s something different about Alabama’s next recruiting class

One quarterback a year was Alabama’s pace on the recruiting trail. That could change in February.

Parker McLeod became the second passer in as many months to commit to the Crimson Tide’s Class of 2013, the recruiting services reported Friday afternoon.

A rising senior at Walton High School in Marietta, Ga., McLeod is a 3-star prospect, according to Scout.com, Rivals.com and 247sports.com.

He reportedly held offers from Oklahoma State, Boston College, Louisville and Maryland among others.

Cooper Bateman, one of the nation’s top senior quarterbacks, committed to Alabama on May 16. Should both sign with the Tide in February, it would reverse a recent trend for Alabama. The Tide signed only one quarterback in each of the past seven years.

Alec Morris was Alabama’s 2012 signee preceded by Phillip Ely (2011) and Phillip Sims (2010).

A starter last fall, McLeod led Walton to the Georgia Class AAAAA state title game before falling 24-0 to Grayson in the Georgia Dome.

He called Alabama his “dream school,” in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All verbal commitments are non-binding. Rising seniors can sign scholarship paperwork starting in February.

Recent Alabama QB signees
2012: Alec Morris
2011: Phillip Ely
2010: Phillip Sims
2009: AJ McCarron
2008: Star Jackson
2007: Nick Fanuzzi
2006: Greg McElroy

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Can Bateman make Alabama forget about Winston, Kiel?

There couldn’t be a slower football news month than May. Cooper Bateman helped break things up by committing to Alabama yesterday. Here’s the story from today’s printed editions …

Names like Jameis Winston and Gunner Kiel haunted Alabama’s pursuit for the next start quarterback.

Copper Bateman will go on another list. The Salt Lake City product, ranked among the best rising senior quarterbacks in the nation, committed to Alabama on Wednesday morning.

A consensus 4-star prospect, Bateman ranks fourth among quarterbacks nationally according to recruiting services Scout.com and 247sports.com. Rivals.com says he’s the No. 6 quarterback. Winston and Kiel, ranked among the best two passers in the country a year ago, chose Florida State and Notre Dame over Alabama, respectively.

Scott Cate, Bateman’s offensive coordinator at Cottonwood High School, distributed a statement to The Decatur Daily and other state media from his star quarterback Wednesday morning.

“This has been a great time in my life, I have had the rare opportunity to be able to choose from many great schools that would allow me to get a college degree and continue to play the game that I love,” Bateman’s statement read. “This has been a very difficult decision only because I was able to meet and get to know so many wonderful coaches at so many great universities.

“I have chosen to attend the University of Alabama.”

Bateman intends to graduate a semester early and enroll at Alabama next January. Should he follow the current plan, he’d be in Tuscaloosa for the spring practices leading into current starter AJ McCarron’s final year of eligibility.

Click here for the full story (no subscription required).

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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, its driving force doles out more every year to ensure 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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