Now that the dead period is over, it is down to the nitty-gritty. Some programs are scrambling to fill their rosters but the Crimson Tide looks to only be adding only a few more cherries on the top of this sundae of a class. Nick Saban is spending a lot of his time on #NSD2015 and beyond.
There are three weekends remaining until National Signing Day 2014 on February 5. These weekends will likely determine who fills out the remainder of Alabama's Class of 2014.
This class has 24 committed athletes, eight of whom are already enrolled at the Capstone. Per NCAA rule, D.J. Pettway's re-admittance into the University of Alabama will not count against this class. Additionally, there is a chance that cornerback Tony Brown is on track scholarship and may not count against the football scholarship limit either. The public will most likely never know since federal law keeps student records confidential - including who is on scholarship. That said, it is possible that the Tide could add up to three more recruits.
(Remember that all verbal commitments are non-binding and any recruit is free to change his mind at any time up until he signs his name on the the dotted line. And even then...)
UNDECIDED VISITING THIS WEEKEND:
- Matt Elam DL (6-5/372) John Hardin (Elizabethtown, KY) - There was a time when I though that Elam was a "must-have" for the Tide. But then along came Josh Frazier. If you saw Frazier at the Under Armour Game festivities, you could tell that he will be a force in the middle of the Tide's defensive line. At this point, Elam would be another nice piece and the Tide would certainly be glad to have him but he is not absolutely essential. Coaches Lance Thompson and Bo Davis paid him a visit on Thursday. He is also considering home state Kentucky with Notre Dame as an outside shot.
- Rashaan Evans OLB (6-3/220) Auburn (AL) - Nationally, Evans is among the top at his position. He favors his hometown school but it is not a done deal yet. Defensive Coordinator Kirby Smart paid him a visit on Thursday. Evans is expected to announce on February 5. I expect him to pick up an orange hat.
- Jamey Mosley ATH (6-4/195) Theodore (AL) - Sound familiar? "Mosley" from Theodore? Yep, that is CJ's kid brother. He is not ranked but could possibly walk-on. He has offers from Tulane, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State, UAB, and Old Dominion.
COMMITTED VISITING THIS WEEKEND:
- Bo Scarbrough ATH (6-2/225), IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) - This former Northridge (Tuscaloosa) athlete was the very first to commit to the Crimston Tide Class of 2014. There had been talk that he needed to work on his grades but a transfer to IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL seems to have fixed that. Andrew Bone reported Thursday that Bo will transfer to Tuscaloosa County next week to complete his senior year. Some recruiting "experts" out there seem to think he is a "soft" commit but it looks to this observer like he wants to be a part of this historic class.
- Christian Miller OLB (6-4/222) Spring Valley (Columbia, SC) - I have always been a little nervous with this one and Chris Rumph's move to Texas does not ease my mind. Rumph and Miller's father played together at South Carolina and are good friends. However, Christian has given no substantial indication that he intends to flip. He really bonded with all the other Bama commits at the Under Armour Game which seemed to solidify his commitment. He plans to visit Georgia on Jan 24. It will be interesting to see if he follows through after this weekend's visit to T-town.
- Chris Williams DB (6-1/181) Camden County (Kingsland, GA) - Academics was also a concern for Williams but he has received a qualifying score on the ACT and is expected to stick with his commitment to Alabama.
- Dominick Jackson OT (6-7/304) College of San Mateo (San Mateo, CA) - Jackson too has long been an academic question mark. The fact that he did not sign on Juco Signing Day (Dec. 18) makes one wonder if he still has things to work on. It will be interesting to see if he signs on February 5th.
Also making official visits this weekend are the following with solid commitments:
- Josh Casher OC (6-1/297) St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, AL)
- Ronnie Clark OLB/Safety (6-2.5/215) Calera (AL)
- Derek Kief WR (6-5/197) LaSalle (Cincinnati, OH)
- JC Hassenauer OC (6-2.5/292) East Ridge (Saint Paul, MN)
- JK Scott Punter (6-4/185) J.K. Mullen (Denver, CO)
- Keith Holcombe ATH (6-4/210) Hillcrest (Tuscaloosa, AL)
- Ross Pierschbacher OT (6-4/290) Cedar Falls (IA)
- Montel McBride OG (6-4/329)Plant City (FL)
- O.J. Smith DL (6-2/320) Airline (Bossier City, LA)
Malachi Dupre WR (6-2.5/187) John Curtis (New Orleans, LA) is set for a whirlwind tour of schools starting with LSU on Jan 17, continuing on with Alabama on Monday Jan 20, and FSU on Jan 24. He also plans a trip to UCLA Jan 31 but that may just be a "vacation" trip. Dupre has ascended to the position as one of the top-rated wide receivers in the nation in most eyes. LSU RB Coach Frank Wilson, UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora Jr., Arkansas Wide Receivers Coach Michael Smith, and Alabama Associate Head Coach/Running Backs Coach Burton Burns all paid visits to Dupre on Thursday. The Tide is a longshot for now but at least they are in the race.
Looking at the Tide's recruiting activities, it looks like the final slots are going to go to a big-time front-seven and a playmaker on offense. All of the above are in play but the Tide staff is also looking at Auburn commit RB Racean "Roc" Thomas (visit from Lane Kiffin on Thursday) and Miami commit 5-star DE Chad Thomas (Mario Cristobal spent some time with Thomas on Thursday) among others.
* Note: I done broke down and got me a Twitter account. I just hope I have something interesting to say. NO POLITICS!