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March 26, 2012It was a dreary, rain-soaked afternoon in Atlanta, and I had spent the better part of the day traversing one of the South's busiest metropolises south to north, east to west.
It was National Signing Day 2012, Feb. 1 to be exact. I had spent the morning in Ellenwood, Ga. - about 15 miles south of the heart of Atlanta, right off of Interstate 65 - there to cover the signing of offensive tackle Brandon Greene. From there it was off to Henry County High School for defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson in McDonough, Ga., another 15 miles south.
My final stop of the day was at St. Pius X School in North Atlanta within the perimeter of I-85 for defensive back Geno Smith's signing.
Under a deadline for the paper and wanting to get the story posted on TideSports.com as quickly as possible, I was anxious to hit the road because the weather was coming in, and I knew that would encumber my three-and-a-half-hour drive back to Tuscaloosa. But just as I finished with Smith and was turning to leave the auditorium, a polite young man called out my name.
It was Nick Glass, a classmate and teammate of Smith's at St. Pius. We chatted for a bit before I hit the road - what position he played, which schools he was hearing from, etc. I gave him my number and told him to contact me any time. Looking back, I didn't expect to hear from him soon. After all, he's just a sophomore, class of 2014, and I had just put the finishing touches on the class of 2012. Little did I know that less than two months after our initial interaction the 6-foot-2, 202-pounder's recruitment would skyrocket.
To date, Glass has 16 offers - one for every year he's been alive. And a big one could be coming soon.
The University of Alabama is hot on the trail of the talented defender, and Glass believes an offer from the defending national champions could be forthcoming.
"I talked to Coach (Chris) Rumph for 30 minutes, and he said they loved my film," Glass said. "Him and Coach (Kirby) Smart and all the defensive coaches love my film. He said he graded my film and it was the second-highest grade you can get. He was real positive."
Glass could end up at a number of positions in college, and although most schools are recruiting him at safety, he said Alabama likes him at cornerback.
Rumph "said I have really good hips, and that I could play corner or safety. They really like my versatility."
He started all of his sophomore season, tallying 75 tackles, four interceptions and five sacks. His size and athleticism should come as no surprise given his gene pool. His cousin, Fred Beasley, had a 10-year NFL career playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins after starring at Auburn and Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. His uncle, Anthony "Stoney" Parker was a defensive standout at Southern Miss (1975-78).
He said Georgia Tech, Clemson, Arkansas, Florida and Alabama are the schools recruiting him the hardest.
He plans to visit Alabama for either a spring practice or the A-Day Game on April 14. Either way, he feels positive about seeing the Crimson Tide program first-hand.
"Alabama is a powerhouse," Glass said. "I like the way they have a swagger about the game. They're coached great, and they go out there and execute.
"Geno is already telling me to go ahead and hurry up and come to the Tide with him."
For the second consecutive year, Muscle Shoals High School defensive lineman Dee Liner grabbed MVP honors at the Rivals VTO Camp at Leeds High School.
Last year, Liner was a relative unknown to most recruiting observers. I was one of the fortunate ones to know of Liner, mainly because we're from the same part of the state (Colbert County). His obscurity didn't last long, as Liner dominated the camp, leaving with a exponentially raised recruiting profile.
This year was no different. Liner, an
Auburn commitment, again was the standout of the camp, dominating an array of talented offensive linemen, including
Florida State commitment Austin Golson.
TideSports.com spoke with Liner after the camp to find out where he stood in his recruitment, and if there is any truth to the persistent rumor that Alabama still has a shot at the talented Rivals100 recruit.
"Most likely I'm going to call Coach (Mike) Groh tonight. I'm probably going to go down there," Liner said. "Our spring break started (Friday). I'm going to go down there and spend some time them."
So is Alabama still recruiting you hard?
"The last time I talked to Groh was Tuesday. They want me to come down, my family to come down, just keep spending time down there."
Does Alabama have a chance with you?
"Alabama? I really don't even know. They're making it real tough for me right now."
UA coach Nick Saban has pitched Liner on the idea of playing the Jack linebacker position, the "Courtney Upshaw position" as recruits are calling it.
"That's where Saban wants me. Upshaw's gone, and he's looking for somebody to take that spot. To be honest, I'd rather play linebacker. That's the position I think I'm supposed to be at now. It's like in high school, since I'm the biggest dude on the team, they got me as a defensive end to stop the offensive line from getting to our linebackers. There are some defenses this year we're in they're going to have me at outside linebacker."
So you're visiting Alabama this week?
"I'm going to try my hardest to make it this weekend."
Reach Aaron Suttles at Aaron@TideSports.com or at 205-722-0229. Follow him on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/AaronSuttles