The 2008 recruiting class has suffered its first two academic casualties, and they are Brandon Lewis and Kerry Murphy.
Brandon Lewis will be headed to Hargrave after coming up one point short on his ACT. Actually, Lewis had a higher ACT score, but it was not accepted by the NCAA Clearinghouse because apparently they judged the jump from the previous score to be too high, and apparently he had no reason for it like the jump for Alonzo Lawrence. It is certainly disappointing that the three-star defensive end from Pleasant Grove will not enroll this Fall, but he looks to be in pretty good academic shape for 2009, and he's taking the news quite well.
Lewis was quoted as saying: I am still committed to Alabama and plan on coming back in the fall of 2009. This isn't a bad thing because I am treating it as a redshirt year so I will get bigger and stronger. My grades were okay. I just barely missed the test score so I will be good to go for next year."
The good news is that Lewis is taking it well, and honestly it seems he should be able to make it for the 2009 season.
On the other hand, we have more disappointing news regarding Kerry Murphy. Though nothing is official at this point, Andrew Bone is reporting that Murphy is projected to return to Hargrave for the Fall semester, and now hopes to join the team in the Spring of 2009. Murphy has good enough core grades, but his ACT score isn't what it needs to be, and apparently he will be staying at Hargrave another semester to take another couple of cracks at the ACT. I'll be quite frank on this one, it seems that Murphy is looking to join the infamous club that boasts members such as Titus Ryan and Mike Ford. I'll believe Murphy will qualify when he shows up on campus.
All in all, though, it's not really all that bad of news. Murphy already failed to qualify once, and honestly not too many people were optimistic the second time around, so it's far from breaking news. And though it's disappointing to hear about Brandon Lewis, he was likely to redshirt in 2008 anyway, and it seems like he will be able to qualify next year, so it's probably not that big of a deal.
Finally, this news removes all doubt that we cannot trim this class down to 25 players. We now stand at 27, and that is still with a couple of commitments possibly going the MLB route. At the very least, you will most definitely not see any greyshirts in this class.