First, the bad news since there is so much good news that follows it: 2015 LB Leo Lewis de-committed. The Brookhaven, MS linebacker has not committed elsewhere as of yet but he camped at Mississippi State this past weekend and then made an unofficial visit to Ole Miss on Sunday. While Bama is still a possibility, I expect him to choose one of these two schools. [EDITORIAL: I don't know what it is about recruits from the Magnolia state that they cannot resist the siren song of their home state. Choosing Bama worked out pretty well for Kevin Norwood & Anthony Steen. I wish Lewis good health and a college degree but he is missing out.]
The Tide has other linebacking candidates they are recruiting:
- 4-star Adonis Thomas from Lawrenceville, GA is a 6-3.5/220 OLB and has a 3.5 GPA. He has been a long-time Florida lean and may be hard to sway. He will announce on August 1.
- Joshua McMillon (6-3/246) is another 4-star recruit looking at the Tide. This versatile Memphis, TN defender has a 4.3 GPA. McMillon and family had a recent visit to Tuscaloosa which went very well. He will make his announcement on August 22.
- Bama has been picking up traction on 5-star Malik Jefferson out of Mesquite, TX. They will have to wrestle him away from Texas A&M, Baylor, and a host of others.
Brandon Kennedy a 6-2.5/295 offensive lineman out of Wetumpka, AL made his pledge to the Crimson Tide last Friday. He has a 4.2 GPA and will enroll in January. He had narrowed his choices down to Alabama and Auburn. The Tigers had the early lead and they really thought they had his commitment up until the announcement.
Rivals ranks Kennedy as the #1 center in the nation but he is projected as a guard at the college level. With the top 2 centers from 2014 in the nation enrolled at the Capstone (Joshua Casher and J.C. Hassenauer), that makes sense. Alabama is methodically stockpiling a plethora of talented offensive linemen.
With 19 of 25 spots filled, keep an eye out for the following players:
- Top Alabama player DT Daron Payne ( ) is a 4/5-star from Birmingham/Shades Valley.
- The nation's #2 RB Jacques Patrick from Orlando, FL deciding between FSU and Bama. 30 rushing TDs in 2013, 29 in 2012.
- Bama will have to fight Texas A&M for 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield out of Missouri City, TX.
- OT Drew Richmond - 4-star has good size
- West Virginia commit WR Jovon Durante out of Miami, FL was thought to be flipping to Bama back on A-Day but he is still committed to the couch-burners. Keep an eye on this one.
- UNC commit Ronnie Harrison had a good camp at Bama last week and the safety could be a possible flip. Bama is also working 4-star Jamal Peters who is a solid commit to MSU. If they can get Peters, they probably don't take Harrison.
(Keep in mind that a verbal commitment is non-binding and crazy things could happen between now and February 4, 2015)
At Nick Saban High School Camp II this past weekend, the Crimson Tide picked up some excellent 2016 commitments:
- Wide Receiver, Safety, Kick Returner Demetrius Robertson from Savannah, GA has been getting a lot of attention at the camps this summer. The 4-star athlete stands 6-1 and weighs in the neighborhood of 172 lbs.
- Shyheim Carter is a 4-star cornerback from Kentwood, LA. He is one of the top 2016 cornerbacks in the nation. An excellent athlete, he has also played QB, RB, and WR.
- Benito Jones is a 6-2, 275 DT from Waynesboro, Mississippi (GOT ONE...for now). He had 58 tackles, 13 for a loss, 5 sacks and 2 pass break ups as a sophomore in 2013.
* 4-star 2016 defensive end Shane Simmons will announce his commitment on July 30 at 2 p.m. ET. He currently attends to the same high school that produced former Alabama offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio and current Tide lineman Arie Kouanjio. He will choose between Florida State, Alabama, Maryland, Ohio State, and Penn State.
TIDE COMMITS SHINE AT THE OPENING, PICK UP 5TH STAR
At The Opening football competition in Oregon, Bama commit Blake Barnett was named first team QB. He also was crowned Elite 11 MVP. He led his 7on7 team to the tournament title. Of all the quarterbacks, Blake showed the most consistency and had one of the weekend’s strongest arms. And don't forget, the kid can run too. Barnett has picked up a fifth star from Scout and 247.
Blake's Elite 11 teammate, Calvin Ridley, will also be a future teammate in Tuscaloosa in 2015. The wide receiver caught many eyes with his consistency and spectacular catches. Many observors believe he was the best overall performer on offense during the event. All the major recruiting services gave him a 5th star and rank him as either the #1 or #2 receiver.