It did not make many headlines this week that cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent had flipped his commitment to Auburn. Recruiting insiders kind of saw this one coming. I am sure the Tide staff did too. There is a story making the rounds that Bessent took an official visit to Auburn for the Iron Bowl weekend and rushed the field after the Tigers won.
Bessent and Kingsland (GA) High School teammate safety Chris Williams, currently a Bama commit, were two of the first commitments to the Crimson Tide class of 2014. However, neither has visited Alabama a single time this fall and it was known that they were looking around at other schools.
Conversely, it is believed that the Tide staff had not contacted either of them in several months. It is unclear as to why they fell out of favor but it could be that the staff believes that they can reel in some bigger fish (more on that below). This could explain Stephen Roberts' flip as well.
As for Williams, it has long been believed that grades are an issue for him. I would be surprised if he ends up at Alabama but it is pure speculation at this point.
On that subject, OL commit Montel McBride is a potential academic casualty as well. Only time will tell.
The Bama staff is gearing up for a big recruiting weekend in Tuscaloosa. The following recruits are scheduled to be in town and will get a lot of extra attention:
- Leonard Fournette, RB (6-0/225) 5-star, New Orleans, LA - I am sure you are all familiar with this situation. It will come down to Bama and LSU.
- Jalen Tabor, CB (6-0/180) 5-star, Washington, DC -- This top talent is seriously torn between his home state Maryland which he has visited several times this fall and Alabama.
- Brian Wallace, OT (6-6/305) 4-star, St. Louis, MO -- This kid has been on Bama's radar for quite awhile. Rivals recently moved him up from 3-stars to 4-stars to make it unanimous among the four big recruiting sites. His list includes Iowa, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
Also scheduled to appear are some of the Tide's most recent commitments: Cameron Robinson, Cameron Sims, and Josh Frazier. Joining them will be QB commit David Cornwell and LB Zach Whitley. Surely, these fellows will be there to help recruit.
Robinson, Sims, Cornwell, and Whitley are all believed to be enrolling in January. Other candidates for early enrollment include Laurence "Hootie" Jones, Jarran Reed, and Shaun Dion Hamilton.
If you go to the basketball game on Saturday be sure to keep your eyes peeled and give these guys a big "ROLL TIDE!" If you want to chant some names, that would be okay too.
DON'T START COUNTING UNTIL FEBRUARY 5, 2014
The Crimson Tide commitment list is back up to 23 (out of the 25 limit) but as I have stated before: there will be attrition. Don't be surprised if a few more of these guys flip or realize that they cannot reach the academic standards. This should be no cause for concern. Remember that after 4-star Viane Talamaivao decided to stay closer to his California home that the Tide's recruiting class dropped from #1 all the way down to #1.
NICK SABAN IS IN TEXAS!
Yes, he is. But he is not there house-hunting. He is there to put in one last big push visiting Beaumont, Texas 5-star Tony Brown. Brown (6-0/188) has favored LSU for much of the year but Bama has made up considerable ground for his signature. He is one of the top 3 cornerbacks in the nation and number one overall player in the state.
Defensive back is now the priority, especially cornerbacks. Jalen Tabor and Marlon Humphrey are at the top of the list along with Brown. It is still not known what Humphrey will do but word is the staff is feeling more confident about their chances of signing him. These three young men are arguably the best three at their position in the nation.
With solid commitments from wide receivers Cameron Sims and Derek Kief, it was thought that Alabama was done with recruiting that position. However, the name Johnnie Dixon has not gone away just yet. The 6-0/175 lbs 4-star from West Palm Beach, FL was supposed to make his announcement last weekend but has pushed it back to this coming weekend. Supposedly, he is deciding between Miami and the Crimson Tide. Something tells me he will go with the 'Canes.
In other news, there is talk that Alabama may offer a greyshirt to Homewood offensive guard Jordan Sims (6-4/345). He is supposed to decide between Florida and Ole Miss but will hold off his decision for now.
UPDATE: There is talk is that the Tide could take as many as 7 to 8 more commitments which means a few current commits may have to look elsewhere. Get some popcorn. This might turn into one amazing class rivaling 2009.