As if today wasn't good enough for the Tide, after the game the Alabama coaching staff received some more good news, as James Carpenter committed.
Carpenter is a 6'5, 305 junior college offensive linemen, and he will have three calendar years to exhast his final two years of eligibility. A native of Georgia, Carpenter originally signed with Iowa State coming out of high school, but he didn't qualify initially. As a result, he went to junior college at Coffeyville Community College (Kansas), where he really saw his stock surge after some dominating performances.
All told, Carpenter was rated a four-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals, and he ultimately chose the Tide over Oklahoma after visiting the Norman campus last weekend for the Texas Tech game. Moreover, as an added bonus, Carpenter will actually graduate in December of this year, and will enroll early. As a result, he will back-count to the 2008 recruiting class, and he will go through the off-season S&C program and Spring practice.
He's a versatile player who could play either guard or tackle, but judging by his comments we are bringing him in to play left tackle. I'll let you do the figurative math for what that entails for Andre Smith... he's gone to the NFL, the coaching staff is well aware of it, and they just went out on the recruting trails to get his replacement.
Though we hate to see Andre go, that's no real surprise, and frankly it's good to see the coaching staff being so proactive in lining up his replacement. Carpenter is a highly-talented kid, and he should do well at the next level. And finally, Saban wouldn't spend a scholarship on a JUCO prospect unless he was absolutely certain that he could come in and make a very big impact from day one, and I imagine that Carpenter will do just that. After all, remember what happened the last time Saban nabbed a JUCO lineman?