On the heels of the commitment of cornerback Maurice Smith on Thursday, Alabama added its second commitment in as many days on Friday with the addition of Parker McLeod, a quarterback prospect out of Marietta, Georgia. The quote from McLeod on his commitment, per the Crimson White:
"There wasn’t really anything specific- it was just everything about Alabama. I just fell in love with it when I went over there. It was the perfect fit for me all around," he told Bama Online. "It just feels awesome. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m just so excited. It’s also a big relief off my shoulders to have this process over with. I’m really excited to be committed to Alabama."
Numerous quarterback prospects have been quoted as saying in recent weeks that the Alabama coaching staff was going to require prospects to throw in front of them during summer camps before a committable offer would be extended, and that is indeed what happened with McLeod. He camped in Tuscaloosa earlier in the week and was hoping to get an offer from 'Bama, and once Nick Saban and company came through he wasted little time before verbally committing to the TIde. And, he does so, interestingly enough, despite the fact that his mother is an Auburn graduate.
McLeod was a first-year starter in the 2011 season for Walton High School, leading them to a 14-0 start before falling in the Georgia AAAAA state championship game against Grayson. Playing in a pro-style offense, McLeod threw for 18 touchdowns against four interceptions. He had picked up some early offers from Oklahoma State and several ACC and Big East schools, but 'Bama was by far the biggest offer to date.
At 6'3 and 190 pounds, McLeod has the physical build of the prototypical pro-style quarterback, and he is almost the exact same size as fellow commitment Cooper Bateman, as well as current Alabama starting quarterback AJ McCarron when he came out of Mobile. Is McLeod the future at quarterback for 'Bama? He has impressive physical tools and he has been adamant about wanting to compete with Bateman for the starting job, but only time will tell if he can beat out his future teammates. Enrolling in Tuscaloosa early, as McLeod intends to do, will only help his cause, though Bateman is also enrolling early and obviously there are no guarantees.
Either way, given the transfer of Philip Sims and the uncertainty over the viability of Phillip Ely and Alec Morris, Alabama badly needed to add two quarterbacks in this recruiting class, and with McLeod 'Bama adds another prospect who at least has the physical tools necessary to play the quarterback position at an acceptable level against SEC competition. By no means is this development the second coming of Joe Namath, mind you, but it should create some depth and provide a degree of long-term certainty at the quarterback position.
McLeod becomes the sixteenth commitment of the 2013 recruiting class.
Addendum: The obligatory highlight clip, via YouTube: