Alabama picked up the thirteenth commitment of the 2012 recruiting class today. Well, maybe, anyway. Per the Mobile Press-Register:
A wide receiver from South Carolina who was a visitor to Alabama's camp last weekend is the latest high school football star to commit to the Crimson Tide.
Casey Gladney, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound standout from Columbia High School, said Friday that he will sign with Alabama next February. He is the 13th commitment for Alabama's Class of 2012 to date.
As a junior last fall, Gladney caught 49 passes for 865 yards and 11 touchdowns.
I say maybe picked up a commitment because it seems like Gladney has some serious academic issues, and an understanding has been reached between Gladney and the UA coaching staff that unless he improves his academics this summer and early this fall that we will not take his commitment. So, in essence, this is just one big wait-and-see; if the academics improve we'll take him and if not this is a waste of time. It's nice to see Gladney being proactive about his academic situation, of course, but that alone does not guarantee success in trying to rectify things.
As a prospect Gladney is somewhat of a tough evaluation. He has not generated much of an offer list -- only Tennessee (point and laugh) and Kentucky have offered to date -- and noticeably missing are in-state South Carolina and Clemson. In particular, the lack of interest from the major in-state schools is always a major red flag. On the other hand, clearly the staff thinks very highly of him to be willing to take on a known academic case, he has impressive production on the prep level, and the lack of a better offer list may have to do with academics more than anything else.
We'll just have to see how this one plays out. Hopefully he gets his academics in order because clearly the UA staff thinks he can contribute, but even if he does that then we might have to fend off some late efforts from the in-state schools, so it's far from a foregone conclusion even if he can improve his academic standing. Obviously it's going to be quite some time before we can have the legitimate expectation that Gladney will make it to Tuscaloosa, but for now we'll welcome him into the fold nevertheless.