National Signing Day (NSD) arrives on Wednesday, February 4. Verbal commitments become official commitments when the Letter of Intent (LOI) is signed and faxed into the school of the player's choice. There has been no word as to whether fax girl will make a grand return.
The Alabama commit list has not changed since last week with 23 committed out of a possible signing class of 26 or 27. Seven players are for all practical purposes locked in since they are already enrolled:
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
Bama fans will get their first glimpse of these players at the A-Day Spring Football Game held on Saturday, April 18 at 2pm CT.
The following sixteen are verbally committed and expected to sign with the Crimson Tide, enrolling in the summer:
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
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
A few weeks ago, Alabama had 26 prospects committed and it was assumed that the class was basically locked up. Then minds were changed and the number is down to 23. It is difficult to get a read on what the Bama strategy is for the next 36 hours but it is believed they want to add a wide receiver and a true offensive tackle. [UPDATE: 3-star DE Christian Bell will take a greyshirt this fall. He agreed to the arrangement before he committed. There is still a chance he could revert to full scholly for fall, e.g. Bradley Bozeman and Harrison Jones.]
There is a good bit I don't feel so confident about for NSD but one recruit I feel optimistic about for the Tide on Wednesday is 4-star Daylon Charlot. PREDICTION: BAMA
The staff has also been working 4-star K.J. Hill out of North Little Rock but it feels like momentum has shifted to Ohio State. PREDICTION: an Ohio State.
If Bama cannot get either of these two pass catchers, Miami commit Lawrence Cager might be a possibility though this observer is not too excited about this possibility. PREDICTION: Miami.
A few long shots are 4/5-star UGA commit Terry Godwin and WVU commit Jovon Durante. PREDICTION: they stick with their choices.
This one is not as easy to decipher. The Dead Period began on Monday February 2, meaning all contact is over. Unless, Nick Saban did some real clandestine recruiting, he and his staff did not appear to be going after anyone new.
4-star offensive tackle Isaiah Prince committed to the Tide but then turned right around and called Urban Meyer on the phone to say he will visit. He will make his final announcement on NSD at 8:30am CT between Ohio State, home state Maryland, and Alabama. PREDICTION: Maryland.
Some bad luck kept 4/5-star OT Drew Richmond from visiting Tuscaloosa. He decommitted from Ole Miss last night. He is likely off the board for Alabama. PREDICTION:Tennessee (who he visited last weekend). [UPDATE: Before this weekend, OM coach Hugh Freeze asked Richmond to not visit Alabama but Tennessee was okay. It looks like he may flip to the Vols. Karma.]
The Bama staff has got to sense that they are not going to get either of these young men but they don't seem to be pushing for anyone else. It is a bit perplexing.
There does not appear to be anyone else on Bama's radar. All of their recruiting last weekend was geared towards Junior Day and the Classes of 2016 and 2017. It rings a bit odd that the Tide seems to be focused on taking one more receiver and nothing else. Could Saban possibly NOT take the full allotment? Is he overconfident that Isaiah Prince sticks with the Crimson Tide?
In case you missed it, former Bama commit Montrell Custis pledged his signature to Ole Miss [sad face emoticon].
WILD CRAZY SPECULATION
One of my favorite things to do is to speculate. So, here is a nugget for you: You may recall the story of 6-8/250 lbs DE/TE Prince Tega Wanogho, a young raw athlete from Nigeria who reclassified from 2016 to 2015 just a few weeks ago and then proceeded to break his leg in a basketball game. Because of his late start in the whole recruiting game and the delay caused by the injury, it is believed that he may not decide until after NSD. Saban may be holding a scholarship for him. The only bad part of that thought is that rumor has it Wanogho's host family is chock-full of Auburn fans. He has until April 1, 2015 to sign.
Another kooky theory of mine is that Saban has a card or two up his sleeve. The last two seasons, he has pulled in an unexpected 5-star at the last minute: Rashaan Evans (2014), A'Shawn Robinson (2013). Except this time, there is no buzz around such an event. It would have to be a real Penn & Teller sleight of hand.
I still don't believe 5-star DE CeCe Jefferson ends up in Tuscaloosa but one gets the feeling he wants to do some kind of "shock the world" thing. He will announce at 1pm CT on ESPNU.
Stay tuned for all your recruiting news from Roll Bama Roll.