After getting a couple of updates on on Blake Sims earlier today, we finally have some substantive news on Deion Belue. Per the Twitter of one of the BOL beat writers, Christopher Walsh, Belue did not report for the first summer session.
Sources tell BOL that Deion Belue did not report due to academic reasons. It appears that he and Sims are the only ones not on campus.
Obviously, this is not what we want to hear . Even if Belue can report in July or August, he is probably going to be so far behind the learning curve that the odds of him making a meaningful contribution in 2010 will be near zero. If Kirkpatrick couldn't do it last year, I tend to think that Belue won't this year (even considering the depth difference between the 2009 and 2010 defensive backfields). And that's the best-case scenario. It very well could be that Belue doesn't make it to campus at all. At this point, at best he's likely a redshirt in 2010 and at worst he never plays at 'Bama. There is no use in trying to put a positive spin on this one... this is bad news for us in the short term, and potentially bad news in the long term as well.
The good news, though, is that it seems that all of the other signees have made it to campus and have cleared the academic hurdles. So, even if both Belue and Sims fail to qualify and never don the crimson helmet, that still means we get 24 of 26 signees enrolled. It's painful to see any signee become an academic casualty, of course, but realistically you cannot expect much more out of your coaching staff when approximately 93% of a signing class qualifies academically. That raw statistic alone makes us the envy of nearly every other program in the country.