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2015 Alabama Football Recruiting News & Update: The Final Weekend/Junior Day

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Drama where drama was not expected.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

In case you missed it, three previously committed recruits are no longer considered committed to sign with Alabama on National Signing Day (NSD) February 4. This leaves the Crimson Tide with 23 committed out of a possible signing class of 26 or 27.

Enrollees (7)
Blake Barnett Santiago (Corona, CA) QB 6-4.5/200
Deionte Thompson West Orange-Stark (Orange, TX) S 6-2/181
Desherrius Flowers Vigor (Mobile, AL) RB 6-0.5/204
Ronnie Harrison Florida State Univ. School (Tallahassee, FL) S 6-3/205
Dallas Warmack Mays (Atlanta, GA) OG 6-1.5/306
Brandon Kennedy Wetumpka (Wetumpka, AL) OG 6-2.5/295
Jonathan Taylor Copiah-Lincoln C.C. (Wesson, MS) DT 6-4/335

Commits (16)
Calvin Ridley Monarch (Pompano Beach, FL) WR 6-0/170
Kendall Sheffield Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX) CB 6-0/181
Daron Payne Shades Valley Sch (Birmingham, AL) DT 6-2/325
Minkah Fitzpatrick St. Peters Prep (Jersey City, NJ) CB 6-1/198
Damien Harris Madison Southern (Berea, KY) RB 5-11/205
Lester Cotton Central Sch (Tuscaloosa, AL) OG 6-4/325
Richie Petitbon Gonzaga (Washington, DC) OG 6-4/301
Mekhi Brown Carver (Columbus, GA) DE 6-4.5/222
Hale Hentges Helias (Jefferson City, MO) TE 6-5/230
Shawn Burgess-Becker Monarch (Pompano Beach, FL) ATH 6-1/185
Adonis Thomas Central Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, GA) OLB 6-3.5/229
Anfernee Jennings Dadeville (Dadeville, AL) DE 6-3/256
Joshua McMillon Whitehaven (Memphis, TN) OLB 6-3/239
Christian Bell Hoover (Birmingham, AL) DE 6-4/220
Keaton Anderson Florence (Florence, AL) OLB 6-1/215
Matt Womack Magnolia Heights School (Senatobia, MS) OT 6-7/320

LAST WEEKEND RECAP

Last weekend's hosting duties were all about Terry Godwin, the highly-coveted DB/WR out of Hogansville, GA. It was also a chance for several Bama commits to make their official visit to the Capstone including 5-star corner Kendall Sheffield.

JANUARY 30 & JUNIOR DAY

In last week's Recruiting News & Update post, it was reported that Holton Hill would be visiting this weekend. However, those plans have changed. The 4-star cornerback will commit along with fellow Texan Kris Boyd (Gilmer) sometime on Friday Jan 30th. I expect both of them to announce for either Texas or Texas A&M. [UPDATE: Boyd & Hill have committed to Texas]

For now, the only official visitor will be 4-star safety/receiver commit Shawn Burgess-Becker and possibly Ole Miss commit Drew Richmond. Also journeying to Tuscaloosa will be several 2016 and a few 2017 prospects making unofficial visits for Junior Day. Among them:

  • Bama commit Demetris Robertson 4/5-star ATH (Savannah, GA) 6-1/165
  • Ben Davis 5-star OLB (Gordo, AL) 6-4/225
  • Willie Allen 4-star OT (New Orleans, LA) 6-7.5/300

Reports have been tracking Alabama head coach Nick Saban and his staff jet-setting across the country visiting juniors and sophomores. But now it looks like some attention may need to go back to the Class of 2015.

There appears to be two positions that the Tide staff is focusing on to wrap up this year's class: offensive tackle and wide receiver.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE

Despite a verbal pledge to Bama from 4-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince just days ago, he seems to have some major reservations about his choice. He will make his final announcement on NSD at 9:30am ET between Alabama, Ohio State, and home state Maryland.

Some reports have said that 4/5-star OT Drew Richmond could possibly visit Tuscaloosa at some point this weekend. He is scheduled to travel to Tennessee. As of post time, his plans could not be confirmed either way. It is going to be difficult to wrest the 6-5/310 Memphis native away from Ole Miss. [UPDATE: Confirmation that he is in Knoxville.]

In regards to OT Chidi Valentine-Okeke who committed to LSU on Thursday, word is that there was concern over his ability to qualify at Alabama. His grades are not the issue. It is the language barrier. Valentine-Okeke is originally from Nigeria and has been in the U.S. only a short time. In addition, he somehow was able to reclassify from the 2016 class to the 2015 class. These circumstances are oddly similar to that of Prince Tega Wanogho. It is understandable how these young men just want to get out of high school and move on to college, but this is much like the underclassman who declares for the NFL Draft when another year could have proved beneficial. As it now stands, Valentine-Okeke is likely at least two years perhaps three years away from cracking the starting lineup in Baton Rouge... or Tuscaloosa for that matter.

WIDE RECEIVER

As mentioned above, 4/5-star Terry Godwin was in town but it does not appear he has been swayed away from home state Georgia.

There has been very little news around 4-star Daylon Charlot. You may recall he has twice committed and then decommitted from Alabama. The story is that he is getting major pressure from family, friends, teachers, the mailman, the dog catcher, and everyone else in Patterson, LA to go to LSU. I expect him to announce on NSD so that he can keep the barbarians at bay. Don't be surprise if he puts on a crimson hat with a script "A". [UPDATE: Saban is visiting Charlot today.]

K.J. Hill is another name that hasn't gone away just yet. The North Little Rock receiver had an in-home visit by Nick Saban and receivers coach Billy Napier on Wednesday. He is also considering Arkansas and Ohio State.

Miami commit Lawrence Cager was in T-town two weeks ago but I am just not feeling it. [UPDATE: Reports that Cager had a "pending" offer which became firm today.]

Kirk Merritt, an all-purpose back/wide receiver out of Destrehan, LA, has shown interest but never returned to the Capstone since A-Day. He is also looking at TAMU, Oregon, and Auburn.

One last dark horse possibility is Jovon Durante. It is hard to understand why a guy from Miami would commit to West Virginia when there are so many other better suitors out there but he has done it. Alabama thought they had a flip at A-Day last April but it did not materialize. That said, until the ink is dry and the fax goes through, don't count this 4-star out.

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OTHERS

  • By now you may or may not have heard about the aforementioned 6-8/250 lbs DE/TE Prince Tega Wanogho. The other native Nigerian is a very raw but intriguing prospect. At the time of his recent reclassification to the Class of 2015 from 2016 just weeks ago, it looked like he would get lost in the numbers crunch at Bama. However with the defections of the three, it is possible he could join the Tide. With everything sped up as it has, coupled with his recent leg injury, it is likely he may not decide until after NSD.
  • Every other recruiting writer out there wants to tell you that Bama has a shot at 5-star CeCe Jefferson. But I am not buying it. The Florida defensive end was visited by Tide coaches this week but I think he just enjoys the attention.

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