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Tide boosts foreign legion with surprise last-minute signing

Today is the final signing day for college basketball, and just when Bama fans thought that 5-star Trevor Lacey's signing on Wednesday was the final piece of the likely top-10 recruiting class Anthony Grant has assembled, it was announced today that the Tide has inked a young point guard from Belgium to fill the team's last available scholarship spot. 17-year-old Retin Ojomoh, a player with experience playing in Belgium's professional minor league and on Belgium's youth national team, signed his Letter of Intent to become the Tide's surprise sixth and final signee of the 2011 class.

We have no reference point whatsoever to determine how Ojomoh compares to other college basketball signees, as he hasn't been scouted by any of the recruiting services and to my knowledge had no other offers to play American college basketball. Furthermore, he's never competed against American high school players. All we have to go on is that Anthony Grant decided to use one of his valuable scholarship spots to bring in Ojomoh as a point guard. Based solely on that information, I think it is safe to assume that Grant thinks he can at least compete with Ben Eblen for backup minutes behind Releford next season. How much upside Ojomoh has beyond that is anyone's guess at this point.

Regardless of how Retin Ojomoh (pronounced ra-teen o-juh-mo) stacks up to other college basketball signees, the six players that Grant brought in as part of the 2011 class will go down on paper as one of the most highly-regarded classes in the history of the program. Finalized class rankings from the recruiting services should come out later today or tomorrow as the 5:00pm deadline passes for basketball signings. Alabama's class should finish in the top 10-15 nationally, perhaps higher, depending on how each service calculates their team ranking.

Perhaps most importantly of all, though, was Coach Grant's statement during his press conference this morning that he is expecting all six signees to qualify academically and be ready to play this season. That is huge news, particularly regarding Lacey, who has been in questionable standing academically throughout his recruitment.

Ojomoh will now become the third foreign player on Alabama's roster when the Belgian, along with fellow 2011 signee and Senegalese center Moussa Gueye, join Swedish center Carl Engstrom on next year's squad.

UPDATE: Hat tip to ttowntusk for this video. Ojomoh is #10 on the white team. He starts featuring prominently around the 2:30 mark of the video.