The Crimson Tide football team will soon be welcoming in 25-26 young men to the Capstone as members of the Class of 2013. Below you will find the list of committed players who are expected to be on the offensive side of the ball and a short summation. Several of these student-athletes are already enrolled in classes and are noted with an asterisk (*).
Cooper Bateman* QB Salt Lake City, UT 6'3" 190 lbs.
The consensus 4-star was a pretty big hit at the Elite 11 QB challenge this past summer. He has good size and definitely has the tools to be an exceptional SEC quarterback. He has a great arm, good footwork, smarts and fine leadership skills. However, he will need time to acclimate himself to the speed of the game at next level. Barring some disaster, he will most likely redshirt 2013 to hone his skills and maybe put on a little more muscle. Look for him to challenge for the starting spot in 2014.
Bradley Bozeman OG Roanoke, AL 6'5" 310 lbs.
Talk about being full of Alabama, this kid is already showing some team loyalty by agreeing to greyshirt (delay enrollment until January 2014 and count towards that class). It was no surprise for Bozeman. He and the staff had talked about it several months earlier. The staff wanted to keep the news under wraps until they got down to crunch time. Bozeman tore his ACL midway through his senior year and was thus likely going to redshirt anyway. He is a huge Tide fan and never wanted to go anywhere else. He sees this as an opportunity to rehab and "get stronger". You gotta like this kid. He projects as a guard.
Leon Brown* OT Brooklyn, NY 6'6" 310 lbs.
Originally from Riverdale, Maryland, Brown was a 340 lbs 2-star thought to be headed to Marshall or New Mexico in 2011. He wound up at Asa College in Brooklyn where he worked hard to get in shape and improve his technique. He has good quickness for a big man. At Asa, he played left tackle but don’t expect him to supplant Cyrus Kouandjio in 2013. He should challenge for the opening left by DJ Fluker at right tackle. As a juco transfer, he will have three years to play two seasons.
Raheem Falkins* WR New Orleans, LA 6'4" 192 lbs.
You’ve got to love stealing a kid out of the Bayou state, especially when he is a 4-star with size like this. At 6’4", he will easily be the tallest WR on the team. He caught 47 balls his senior year for 1,058 yards and 14 TDs. He is deadly in the fade route.
Robert Foster WR Monaca, PA 6'3" 180 lbs.
A highly regarded wide receiver, Foster was torn between hometown Pitt and Alabama. With the family’s approval, he made the choice to head south. He had 14 receiving touchdowns and 4 interceptions on defense his senior year. He should work his way into the WR rotation as a true freshman. Note: his hometown of Monaca is a neighboring town of a certain former Tide QB.
Derrick Henry* RB Yulee, FL 6'3" 243 lbs.
Unless you have been in a coma for the past year, you have likely heard of this guy. Henry broke the national career high school rushing record – a record that stood for 59 years – with an astounding 11,610 yards and 153 TDs (55 in 2012). He has amazing size for a RB. Built like a linebacker (he is the same size as Nico Johnson), he can flat run over folks. Henry should be a fun player to watch.
Brandon Hill* OT Hargrave Military 6'6" 350-390 lbs (reports vary).
Regardless of his exact measurements, this is one BIG dude. He originally signed with the Tide in 2012 but did not qualify. After one season at Hargrave, he is back on campus and already getting under the charge of Strength & Conditioning Coach Scott Cochran. Depending on how he develops this spring, he could be in the mix for the right tackle job.
Grant Hill OG Huntsville,AL 6'6" 315 lbs.
No, not the basketball player. This Grant Hill will be looking to make a name for himself at the Capstone. He is a 4-star guard rated in the top 5 at his position by every recruiting service. He is a very strong, aggressive type who can drive an opponent into the ground. He excels in goal-line and short yardage blocking. He may need to work on his pass blocking but expect him in the starting line-up sometime in the near future.
O.J. Howard* TE Autauga, AL 6'6" 220 lbs.
Howard is a consensus 5-star tight end with a bright future. He will be looking to fill the hole left by Michael Williams but may get a longer look at H-back due to his prowess as a receiver. Aside from his great hands, he excels at catching in traffic and getting yards after the catch. Physically gifted, Howard is easily the top tight end in the nation. Fun Fact: Howard scored 3 TDs in an 8-minute span in the 1st Quarter of a game this past season – two on offense and one fumble return.
Tyren Jones RB Marietta, GA 5'8" 190 lbs.
The rich get richer. Another 4-star chess piece for Doug Nussmeier to utilize. Jones is so good that he brought his quarterback along too (see below). Jones runs with power and explosiveness. He's only 5'8 but he is 190 lbs of muscle. Think Jacquizz Rodgers. He will arrive on campus ready to play and will definitely compete for playing time in 2013.
Parker McLeod* QB Marietta, GA 6'2" 190 lbs.
This kid loves him some Alabama! He came to Junior Day last February, camped twice in the summer, made several unofficial visits this fall before an official visit in December. He committed after Bateman did. He couldn't wait to get on campus and is now enrolled. McLeod played in a Pro-style offense much like the one Alabama runs. Since he has thrown for the staff on at least two occasions, I have to trust that they like what they see. He has good size for a QB, football smarts, and book smarts (3.91 GPA). His high school (Walton) competes among the best in Georgia at the AAAAAA level.
Cole Mazza LS Bakersfield, CA 6'1" 240 lbs.
This may be a first: a scholarship given to a long snapper. Bama has been blessed with some good LS who were walk-ons (Carson Tinker, Brian Selman, Drew Lane, Bradley Ledbetter) but Saban does not want to leave anything to chance. Supposedly, Mazza has perfected this craft. Ignore the 2-star rating that some of the recruiting services give him. That is based on his ability as a blocking lineman.
ArDarius Stewart ATH Fultondale, AL 6'1" 190 lbs.
Classified as an "Athlete", he has played as a dual-threat quarterback, safety, wide receiver, and kick returner. Stewart rushed for better than 5,200 yards and threw for 3,500-plus in three seasons. He also had 5 INTs as a safety, one returned for a TD. He is an excellent athlete and I believe his future lies as a wide receiver.
Altee Tenpenny RB North Little Rock, AR 6'0" 212 lbs.
This 4-star running back is very athletic and has been clocked at 4.42 in the 40. He was a 1,100-yard rusher as a sophomore in 2011 but an ankle injury derailed his junior season. He bounced back with a fantastic senior campaign running for 1,379 yards, 21 rushing TDs, and 2 receiving TDs. He committed to the Tide a year ago last Monday when Petrino was still head coach and his little bike ride was 3 months away. Tenpenny has never shown any indication of flipping to Arkansas but there have been some murmurs. My gut says he sticks with Alabama but I think I am in the minority.
Bonus: Luke Del Rio* QB Denver, CO 6'2" 190 lbs.
How good are things in Tuscaloosa right now? They are so good that 3-star Elite 11 QBs are willing to turn down scholarships from places like Oklahoma State, Oregon State, and Colorado State just to walk-on at Alabama. 2,275 yards, 28 TD 4 INT made him the top QB in Colorado in 2012. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Luke is the son of former 12-year NFL linebacker, former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, and current Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. He is not just another walk-on. He will be fighting for a starting spot in the near future.