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Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant has scored his biggest (and first in-state) commitment to...

Alabama basketball coach Anthony Grant has scored his biggest (and first in-state) commitment to date with the Crimson Tide. Junior small forward Levi Randolph of Madison's Bob Jones committed tonight to Grant's expected 2011 signing class, according to his father Levi Randolph Sr. "Alabama just stepped up to the plate," Randolph Sr. said. "From the first time we met Coach Grant and Alabama's coaching staff, they made a commitment they really wanted him. Levi felt that as well. ... We haven't yet stopped him running up and down the stairs screaming and hollering. I think he's excited about it." BamaOnline.com is also reporting tonight that 6-foot-5 guard Rodney Cooper of Phenix City has committed as well, giving Alabama its first two additions to the 2011 class. Cooper said he and Randolph planned to commit together. "We are going to have a great class," Cooper told the web site. "We've talked about being the group of guys who help turn the program around and also take it to another level. Alabama has been my top school for a while but I kept it a secret. When me and Levi decided to commit at the same time, we wanted it to be special."

Gentry Estes | Mobile Press-Register HUGE. Simply huge. There's no doubt this double-announcement was orchestrated by Grant as a way to build momentum as we now transition focus from the 2010 class (which is officially complete this week) to the 2011 class. Mission accomplished. This should serve as a friendly reminder to anxious fans that 2011, not 2010, is our year to make big in-roads in basketball recruiting. Not only is the 2011 class the first in which Grant has had a full chance to evaluate and recruit players, but 2010 was an awful batch of in-state talent, one of the worst ever. That is not the case for 2011, where the state of Alabama currently boasts three players in the Rivals 100. On Thursday night, two of those players committed to the Tide. Randolph was our #1 target for the 2011 class from the day Grant landed in Tuscaloosa and Cooper is a legit 4-star in his own right. Randolph is ranked as the nation's 32nd best player according to Rivals, while Cooper is ranked 97th. Both are staying in-state and will form the nucleus of what has the potential to be a stellar recruiting class. We'll have a full wrap-up of the 2010 class next week and a preview of the 2011 class soon thereafter. While the 2010 class was solid all things considered, the 2011 class holds even more promise.
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