Recruiting Update | The Class of 2012 So Far

With two more announcements last week the Tide now has 16 commitments for the Class of 2012, so here's your quick primer on who has committed so far for 2012.

Ryan Anderson
Daphne, AL
Ht: 6'3" | Wt: 250 | 40:
Rivals #44 Strongside DE
Scout #55 DE
ESPN #18 DE
24/7 NR
YouTube | Video 1
Committed | 4/19/11

Anderson looks to be a solid addition. He is listed by most services at approximately 6'3 and 250 pounds, so he has the size to either play Jack linebacker or bulk up and play defensive end. He plays defensive end at Daphne, and posted very impressive production as a junior against high-end prep competition, racking up 75 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and 11 TFL's.

Dakota Ball
Lindale, GA
Ht: 6'2" | Wt: 292 | 40: 5.2
Rivals  #31 DT
Scout #24 DT
ESPN #16 DT
24/7 #19 DT
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3
Committed | 10/14/10

"Alabama just felt like the place for me," said Ball. "Everything about Alabama was perfect and I really just felt like I was meant to be there."

At 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds, Ball will be able to play inside or outside on the defensive line in Kirby Smart’s 3-4 defense.

Chris Black
Jacksonville, FL
Ht: 5'11" | Wt: 170 | 40:
Rivals #7 WR
Scout #11 WR
ESPN #3 WR
24/7 #5 WR
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3
Committed | 8/5/11

"My decision wasn’t based on one or two things," Black said. "I have a great relationship with the coaches at both Florida State and Alabama. I prayed about it and in my heart felt more comfortable at Alabama."

As a junior, Black caught 12 touchdowns and gained 940 yards. He’ll have an early opportunity to play at Alabama, as the Crimson Tide enters this season with a few key senior contributors.

"That most definitely played a big role," Black said. "They told me there’s room for me to come in and immediately help solidify their receiving unit. I did my research throughout this process and analyzed each situation. That’s why I’m so comfortable with this decision."

Kenyan Drake
Powder Springs, GA
Ht: 6'1" | Wt: 195 | 40: 4.4
Rivals #17 ATH
Scout #17 RB
ESPN #13 RB
24/7 #3 All Purpose Back
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3 - Video 4 - Video 5 - Video 6
Committed | 2/14/11

Drake said he could be utilized as a running back at Alabama, but that he could fit into other positions depending on how he develops. 

"They said the really good players can play numerous positions," Drake said. "Hopefully, they see me as a good player, but I want to become a great player."

Casey Gladney
Columbia, SC
Ht: 6'1" | Wt: 177 | 40: 4.45
Rivals  #41 ATH
Scout  #65 WR
ESPN  #47 WR
24/7   #84 WR
Committed | 6/10/11

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.

Brandon Greene
Ellenwood, GA
Ht: 6'6" | Wt: 280 | 40:
Rivals  #40 Offensive Tackle
Scout  #29 Offensive Tackle
ESPN  #4 Offensive Tackle
24/7  NR
YouTube | Video 1
Committed | 33/5/11

"Watching him as a ninth grader and sophomore, he has tremendous natural knee bend that all of the pro scouts look for," Cedar Grove coach Ray Bonner told the website. "I think he is a natural left tackle. Huge wingspan and great, great feet. As good of feet as I have seen. His best football is ahead of him and I think the sky is the limit."

Adam Griffith
Calhoun, GA
Ht: 5'11" | Wt: 175 | 40:
Rivals  #1 Kicker
Scout  NR
ESPN  #6 Kicker
24/7  NR
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3
Committed | 1/29/11

"It is unusual for a kicker to get such an early offer," Lamb said of his all-state kicker who made 10 field goals this season, including three from beyond 50 yards. "I think [college] coaches are starting to realize that kickers are very, very important. It shows just how good he is, but it also shows how important it is to get out there and show them what you can do."

"I had no idea I was going to be offered by my junior year, but I guess they liked that I did well in the camps and in competition," said Griffith, a native of Poland. "I first got noticed at the camp at Alabama, and Chris Sailer then invited me to his camp. The big thing is to get to as many of those camps and combines as you can."

Caleb Gulledge
Prattville, AL
Ht: 6'4" | Wt: 255 | 40:
Rivals  NR Strongside DE
Scout #64 DE
ESPN  #60 DE
24/7 NR Offensive Tackle/Strongside DE
Committed | 10/3/10

Tyler Hayes
Thomasville, AL
Ht: 6'3" | Wt: 215 | 40:
Rivals  NR ATH
Scout  #10 OLB
ESPN  NR OLB
24/7  #11 OLB
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3 - Video 4
Committed | 2/14/11

"I just wanted to get it over with," Hayes said. "I wanted to do what I could to control it so I just went ahead and did it."

Hayes, who amassed more than 700 rushing yards rushing with five touchdowns and was the top-three tackler for Class 4A state champions, received an offer from Alabama during a visit last month during the Tide's junior day. It was Hayes' first visit to the campus.

Darren Lake
York, AL
Ht: 6'3" | Wt: 330 | 40:
Rivals  NR DT
Scout  #30 DT
ESPN NR DT
24/7 NR DT
Committed | 6/18/11

You can add Lake to the list of camp standouts who earned an offer the hard way. He attended camps at both Alabama and Tennessee and picked up offers from both schools after his camp performances, and in fact Nick Saban and company immediately gave him an offer a week ago before he even left camp in Tuscaloosa. He has been pretty impressive as a prep standout at York Sumpter High, but he's from small town Alabama and playing against low-end competition, hence the necessity of the camp performances against higher competition.

Dillon Lee
Buford, GA
Ht: 6'4" | Wt: 220 | 40:
Rivals  #21 OLB
Scout  #5 MLB
ESPN  NR OLB
24/7 #8 OLB
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3 - Video 4 - Video 5
Committed | 5/16/11

Buford linebacker Dillon Lee committed to Alabama over UGA, Florida State and USC on Monday evening.

Lee is one of the state’s most heavily-recruited players and the younger brother of UGA offensive lineman Dallas Lee.

Lee made numerous recruiting trips to both FSU and Alabama; He never made an unofficial visit to USC, and Georgia was the last in his stack of nearly 20 scholarship offers.

Alec Morris
Allen, TX
Ht: 6'3" | Wt: 235 | 40:
Rivals NR QB
Scout  #65 QB
ESPN  #45 QB
24/7 NR QB
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2
Committed | 8/5/11

Interesting pick-up here for 'Bama. The easy initial impression is that Morris is a long-term developmental project because of the Wake Forest background, but upon further inspection he actually looks like a pretty impressive player. At roughly 6'4 and 225 pounds, he has the raw size you look for at the position, the arm is solid, as is the mobility, and he has been productive against a high level of competition.

Perhaps this is just a case of a player falling through the cracks a bit and being a bit of a late discovery? It's hard to fathom why otherwise this kid didn't have a single offer until last week, and it would also explain in large part why 'Bama jumped in on him so quickly. Morris played well at a camp in Tuscaloosa and after that many thought he was high on UA's board, but nevertheless this one comes as a bit of a surprise.

Reggie Ragland
Madison, AL
Ht: 6'4" | Wt: 245 | 40:
Rivals  #5 ILB
Scout  #1 MLB
ESPN  #2 ILB
24/7  #1 ILB
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2
Committed | 1/29/11

Bob Jones junior and Alabama commitment Reggie Ragland has been named a five-star recruit in the latest rankings from Scout.com released Monday.

The Patriots' defensive stalwart also was ranked Monday as the top middle linebacker prospect in the country.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Ragland recorded 91 tackles, 21 for loss, as the Patriots made the playoffs in 2010. He has made back-to-back first-team all-state rosters, first as a tight end in 2009 and then as a linebacker in 2010.

Of his five-star ranking, Ragland told the recruiting service: "Being named a five-star means a lot to me. I know I have a target on my back now, so I just have to go out and play hard every game. I am kind of surprised by being a five-star because all the good players in this class, but it feels great to be one now."

Justin Taylor
Atlanta, GA
Ht: 5'10" | Wt: 205 | 40: 4.6
Rivals  #35 RB
Scout  #36 RB
ESPN #33 RB
24/7 NR RB
Committed | 2/25/11

Unlike Kenyan Drake, who is really more of a pure athlete playing tailback on the prep level, Taylor is built more in the traditional mold of a Nick Saban tailback, specifically meaning that he's a stocky, powerful runner who doesn't hesitate to get north to south when he is handed the football. There is a good chance that Drake ends up playing at one of the outside skill positions, but with a 5'10 and 215 pound frame, Taylor will almost certainly end up at tailback in Tuscaloosa.

In any event, Taylor looks to be a solid addition to the class. He had picked up early offers from Arkansas and Georgia Tech, and his prep production out of Washington High looks fairly impressive, as he racked up roughly 1,500 yards on the ground a year ago. After we missed on Malcolm Brown and Isiah Crowell in the 2011 recruiting class, tailback is somewhat of a priority in 2012, and adding Taylor early helps shore up the position while giving us the flexibility down the stretch to pursue the likes of Barry Sanders, Jr. and Keith Marshall.

Justin Thomas
Prattville, AL
Ht: 5'11" | Wt: 175 | 40:
Rivals  #13 ATH
Scout  #31 WR
ESPN  #24 ATH
24/7 #8 ATH
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3
Committed | 11/12/10

More good news tonight on the recruiting front as Justin Thomas has committed. Most consider him to be one of the top in-state prospects in the 2012 class, and he had offers from every SEC school, including Florida and LSU. As mentioned above, Thomas plays quarterback for Prattville, but will play either wide receiver or cornerback in Tuscaloosa.

Eddie Williams
Panama City, FL
Ht: 6'4" | Wt: 197 | 40:
Rivals #3 Safety
Scout  #4 Safety
ESPN  #1 Safety
24/7  #3 ATH
YouTube | Video 1 - Video 2 - Video 3
Committed | 8/24/10

Big, big commitment here for the 2012 class. Williams is out of Panama City, Florida, and is widely expected to be one of the top ten players in the country in the 2012 class. He'll be a safety at Alabama, and from the sound of things has been wanting to commit to 'Bama for a couple of years now. It's hard to find much better recruiting gets than this.

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