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Recruiting Updates: What Is The Major News For Hoops, Football?

And not all of that news is good.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Women's Hoops

Blount's Reginald Todd, Cierra Johnson announce basketball decisions |

Johnson, last year's runner-up in the race for Miss Basketball, originally committed to Alabama this summer and emphasized on Monday that she still plans to sign with the Crimson Tide. "Out of all the schools to offer me, I really feel at home there," she said. "The environment, the team the coaches – it just feels like home to me." The 5-foot-11 point guard has led the Leopards to three straight Class 6A state semifinal appearances. As a junior, she averaged 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists and was named Coastal Alabama Player of the Year.

Cierra Johnson, the consensus best player in the state, has reaffirmed her commitment to the Alabama Crimson Tide. In women's college hoops rare is the dominant post player like Rebecca Lobo or Brittney Griner, a woman who can carry a team to dominance. More often than not teams that excel do so with exception backcourt play.

Head Coach Kristy Curry, with a very young team returning mainly intact, definitely needed a star and Cierra Johnson has all the makings of being a very good one. Johnson, who held scholarship offers from nearly every SEC program, among others, is the stalwart that Curry needs to get the Alabama program out of its 15-year funk. The last few years of the Rick Moody era saw the traditionally-strong program take a nose dive, with successors Stephany Smith and Wendell Hudson posting dismal returns. Curry is now in her third season, and observers generally concede that the Tide is heading in the right direction. Still, the fact remains that since Moody's last WNIT appearance in 2000, the Lady Tide has had just one winning season, a WNIT Sweet 16 run in 2010-2011.

Men's Hoops

Alabama, Auburn make final group for 5-star guard Mustapha Heron |

Heron's father Bryan told The Republican-American that his top five schools are now Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, St. John's and Marquette. Heron is the No. 22 overall player in the country. He's a five-star recruit and a big point guard at 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds. Bryan Heron said that Mustapha's decision would likely come in October. Heron visited Alabama in June and has an official visit to Mississippi State on Aug. 27, according to his 247Sports profile. Meanwhile, another 5-star guard in Dallas native Terrance Ferguson was on an unofficial visit to Alabama on Thursday.

Mustapha Heron would be the jelly to Terrance Ferguson's peanut butter. A lethal, blue-chip PG-SG 5* combo that could make a tremendous splash for Alabama hoops. For now, it appears as though St. Johns leads for Heron's services, while Alabama seems to be in the lead for the T-Ferg lottery. The latter speculation has led to some cray internet rumors.

T-Ferg addresses the wild rumors

The latest rumor is that Terrance Ferguson will cancel his planned visit to Kansas on October 9th for Late Night in the Phog because he's going to commit to Alabama. Well, according to Terrance Ferguson himself, that's not true. "I will still visit Kansas," said Ferguson via text to "The rumors are getting out of hand. I will never miss out on Late Night," he added.

Look, I don't care how committed you are to a school (and, by all accounts, KU and Alabama are neck and neck for Ferguson's commitment,) you absolutely go see Late Night at the Phog...if waving wheat and overly happy white people are your thing.

Top small forward Braxton Blackwell has Alabama in top 6 |

One of the country's top prospects in the class of 2016 has Alabama in his final group. Braxton Blackwell, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Tennessee, named Alabama to his final six, according to Christ Presbyterian Academy head coach Drew Maddux. Blackwell, a four-star recruit rated as the No. 38 overall prospect, recently transferred from CPA in Nashville to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior year. He's currently ranked as the top prospect in Virginia.

Note also that for guys like Burwell and Heron how Mississippi State's name is being bandied about as being in the mix. Ben Howland is making an impact on the recruiting trail in Starkville. The SEC suddenly has more talented coaches than it knows what to do with. Teams from OOC of conference (and even Kentucky) suddenly have to do a whole lot more work to sway in-region kids to leave home. The addition of Johnson, Pearl, Howland, Martin and Barnes gives the SEC the clout it has long-deserved.

Thanks, SEC Network money! And, make no mistake, without the SEC Network cash, these guys are simply LOLZ out of range for most schools. When football does well, everyone does well: From admissions to other rev/non-rev sports.


4-star DB Shyheim Carter decommits from Alabama |

Carter, a four-star defensive back from Kentwood, La., announced on his locked Twitter page that "I'm officially decommitting from the University of Alabama." Carter is the No. 5 overall cornerback in the country and No. 51 prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Ole Miss and LSU have always been mentioned as other schools in Carter's recruitment. But Carter said at The Opening that Oregon was a school where he wanted to take an official visit.

Nope, not like we needed help at CB huh? As the story explains, this is the third long-term commit to bail in the past year. Only one of four prospects have stuck.

Noah Dehond - Hudl

Junior T Noah Dehond Peddie High School Varsity Football, Hightstown,

The Junior tackle absolutely rocked out his trip to Tuscaloosa, singing nothing but praises. Unfortunately, the article is behind a paywall. I'm not doing that to you, so, just trust me for now, and please enjoy some highlights.

Most critical position to recruit besides QB - ESPN Video

Joe Tessitore asks SEC football coaches what the most important position to recruit is outside of quarterback.

The answer may surprise you here, especially from Coach Saban.