With the third commitment of the day, Deion Belue has committed to Alabama. Belue is a 6'0 and 175 pound cornerback prospect out of Deshler, and he has flown under the radar a bit to this point. Academics have apparently been the main reason why Belue has been slow-played a bit thus far, and coming into the past few weeks his offer list only included the likes of Auburn, Southern Miss, and Troy. However, he has done extremely well on the camp circuit as of late, and recently received rave reviews at an Alabama camp. Nick Saban and company decided to offer him then, and now Belue has decided to join the Tide.
This one is a bit of an interesting pick-up. Judging by what he has done in camps recently, there is no doubt that Belue is a very good athlete. In fact, after hearing so many rave reviews over his camp performances, both Scout.com and Rivals showed up this past weekend for a 7-on-7 tournament in Huntsville that Belue was participating in just to get a look at the young man. Furthermore, he's not just a combine warrior, he has the on-field production to boot. Last year at Deshler he made All-State in 4A, had 70 tackles, four interceptions (two returned for touchdown), two kick returns for touchdowns, a punt return for a touchdown, and on offense 47 catches as a wide receiver for 800 yards with five more touchdowns. I do not think there is really much doubting that the kid has some very high-end athletic ability.
On the other hand, academics have to be the major concern here. Fortunately, though, Saban and company have had a great track record the past two years with getting kids in academic risk to commit early, come up with a solid plan for gettin themselves eligible, and then finding kids with the dedication, commitment, and desire to go through with it. Furthermore, with Belue still having the rest of summer and his entire senior season ahead of him, he has plenty of time to get his academics in order. If this young man turns out to be an academic casualty then it is certainly a disappointment, but by the same token there is no evidence to indicate he is in that bad of academic shape -- we've had kids in much worse shape make it the past couple of years, despite getting later starts -- and if he can get things done in the classroom, we have clearly found ourselves another great prospect. It's earily, of course, but my guess is that he will be good to go come this time next year.
At any rate, one of the biggest needs in the 2010 class looked to be at cornerback, and we are certainly doing a nice job of filling that need to date. DeMarcus Milliner is a five-star prospect and the #1 cornerback in the country, and now we've added another great athlete with Belue. Furthermore, Garry Peters -- a Rivals four-star athlete in his own right -- is ours if we want him, and the consensus opinion is that we have a pretty big lead for John Fulton, a highly-rated four-star corner out of South Carolina who looks to have a great shot at getting a fifth star in his own right. Bottom line, we do not have many needs in this class, but we are doing a fine job of addressing the few concerns that we do have.
Belue becomes the 15th commitment of the 2010 recruiting class.