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July 2, 2012The Tuscaloosa News/TideSports.com will release the biannual Top 50 Most Wanted prospects Wednesday. Several of the state's top players have already announced their college decisions, but they might not all stay with their original college choice.
Reuben Foster, a Rivals.com five-star linebacker from Auburn High School, is the top prospect in the country at his position. He committed to the Crimson Tide last summer while still living in Georgia.
Foster has been in the news recently with continued unofficial visits to Auburn and Georgia. He has been in Athens, Ga., twice this summer, including last weekend. Foster is expected to visit the Bulldogs again this month. The No. 2 overall prospect in the country continues to tell the Alabama coaching staff he is solid with his commitment.
Tray Matthews, a safety prospect and Georgia commitment from Newnan, Ga., is open with his decision and also looking at Auburn. Matthews, recruited by Alabama, will stick with his commitment to the Bulldogs or possibly flip to Auburn.
"I'm definitely going to play with Tray - period, no matter what the school," Reuben Foster told UGASports.com, part of the Rivals.com recruiting network.
Dee Liner, a five-star defensive end and Auburn commitment from Muscle Shoals, was in Tuscaloosa this summer to watch his team participate in a 7-on-7 tournament. He is expected to stick with his original decision and play college football for the Tigers.
O.J. Howard, a four-star tight end and Alabama commitment from Autauga Academy in Prattville, has been on unofficial visits to Auburn.
He is expected to stick with his commitment to the 2011 BCS national champions.
There are 21 prospects in the state of Alabama who have announced their college decisions. Fifteen of the players have committed to Southeastern Conference schools. Alabama has six commitments, Auburn five, Mississippi State two and Kentucky and Vanderbilt each have one.
The University of Alabama commitments are Foster, Howard, Grant Hill (a four-star offensive tackle from Huntsville High), ArDarius Stewart (a four-star athlete from Fultondale High), Bradley Bozeman (a four-star offensive tackle from Handley High in Roanoke) and Deon Johnson, three-star wide receiver from Spanish Fort. All six in-state commitments are ranked among the top 20 prospects in the state.
One of the deepest positions in the state this year is wide receiver. There are five SEC commitments at the position: Stewart, Johnson, Earnest Robinson (a four-star from Pinson Valley committed to Auburn), B.J. Hammond (a three-star from Gadsden City High) and DeAndre Woods (a three-star from Clay-Chalkville in Pinson). Hammond and Woods are committed to Mississippi State.
Several other in-state receivers have collected numerous scholarship offers including Northridge's James Cox, Tallassee's Dijon Paschal, Jackson's Jarren Johnson, Fairhope's Nate Andrews and McGill-Toolen's Carl Lee.
The weakest in-state position this year as far as depth is probably quarterback. Jeremy Johnson, a three-star Auburn commitment from Carver-Montgomery, is the highest rated at the position. Johnson is also a top-tier basketball player.
Jason Smith, an athlete from McGill-Toolen, is one of the premier prospects in the state. He wants a shot at playing quarterback on the next level. Several schools prefer the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder at receiver or cornerback.
Other quarterbacks in the state who have college futures include Spain Park's Nick Mullins and Fairview's Luke Bailey. Daphne's T.J. Fleeton is committed to Louisiana-Lafayette. Blount's Quinterris Toppings is committed to Georgia State.
Tuscaloosa-area high school football fans can see a lot of local talent in the biggest name in the class of 2014, Bo Scarbrough from Northridge High School. Cox, Scarbrough's teammate, has offers from several schools, including Arkansas, Cincinnati, Mississippi State, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
Tony Whitehead, a wide receiver from Paul W. Bryant High, has an offer from Mississippi State. Another local receiver, Greensboro's Jevontey Smith, recently collected his first offer from Middle Tennessee.
Geralad Sterling, a defensive end from Aliceville, started gaining more interest in the spring. He has performed well in camps this summer. The 6-4, 250-pound prospect has reeled in couple of offers, including Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee.
Join TideSports.com for daily recruiting coverage and online weekly chat sessions. More than 600 fans joined the chat discussion this week for the special Sunday edition. The next one is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 11th at 6:00 p.m. and will be held every Wednesday.
Reach Andrew Bone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter at @AndrewJBone