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Devonta Pollard commits to Alabama

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One of the nation's top 25 high school basketball players committed to play for the Crimson Tide next season, marking perhaps the biggest recruiting victory for the program in a decade.

The announcement caps what has been one of the most roller-coaster recruitments of the 2012 class nationally, as Pollard waited until after national signing day to make his decision official--the only top 50 player in the country to do so.

Pollard will provide the Tide an immediate injection of talent overall and also fills a position of need. Although he plays more as a wing than a power forward, his 6'7" length, long wingspan, and elite leaping ability should enable him to play a variety of roles on a team that is otherwise thin at the forward position.

Pollard is not an elite shooter (though he does have a decent shot that could very well develop over time), but he is an elite athlete with the kind of length that NBA scouts love. He probably won't be the most explosive freshman in the country from a scoring perspective, but he is a guy who should come in and immediately play loads of minutes at the 3 and 4 position in Alabama's rotation, and could be one of the team's best all-around players when you account for rebounding and defense. And don't misunderstand--he can score plenty, too, and it wouldn't be a shock if he is ultimately one of the team's top scorers as well given the kind of matchup problems he will present to most teams.

Aside from just what Pollard will provide next season, though, this commitment represents yet another major step forward in the Alabama basketball program under coach Anthony Grant. As a five-star recruit ranking among the top 25 players in the entire country, Pollard received interest from virtually every program in the country and received offers from nearly as many, including the likes of Kentucky. He was selected as a prestigious McDonald's All-American, and now Alabama will be one of only about a dozen programs to sign such a player.

Anthony Grant is building this program up slowly, but building it he is. With the potential for a monster 2013 class, and the likes of stud recruits like Trevor Lacey and Devonta Pollard now on board as young players to go along with high-end recruits like Trevor Releford, Rodney Cooper, Levi Randolph, and Nick Jacobs, the prospects for Alabama basketball are looking as bright as ever.