December 8, 2007

Top prospects arrive

UA Visitor List 12-7

Last weekend Alabama hosted a small group of official visitors that consisted of four commitment and Louisiana native Tyler Edwards. This weekend the Tide staff is going to roll out the red carpet for TWENTY more visitors with the biggest weekend of the year drawing some of the nation's top players. Foley all-American Julio Jones might be the headliner but SIX more Rivals100 players will be joining him and TWELVE four-star prospects in all.

Julio Jones

The most anticipated official visitor since Andre Smith two years ago will take place this weekend when Foley wide receiver Julio Jones visit the Capstone. Jones, 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, is the nation's top wideout and has offers from every corner of the country.

Although he has yet to narrow his list to his final schools Alabama, LSU, FSU, Florida and Oklahoma are some of the schools battling for his signature. He was in Tuscaloosa numerous times this year for unofficial visits and has also made his way to Oklahoma on at least two occasions. His visit this weekend will be his first official of the year.

Jones is ranked the nation's No. 2 overall prospect by Rivals.com. He boasts a 315-pound bench press, 505 squat, 41-inch vertical jump and 4.48-40 speed.

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Jerrell Harris

Gadsden City linebacker Jerrell Harris entered his senior year as one of the nation's top prospects and while leading his team deep into the playoffs he did nothing to disparage that reputation. Harris, 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, totaled over 30 offers and has cut his list down to a eight schools.

Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia Tech, USC and Tennessee were the lucky finalists. The Mike Shula staff extended Harris his first offer and during the season he was in attendance for numerous Tide home games. His visit this weekend will be his first official of the year.

Harris is a four-star prospect and Rivals100 member. He is ranked as the nation's No. 7 outside linebacker. He boasts a 280-pound bench press, 500 squat, 34-inch vertical jump and 4.56-40 speed.

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Chris Jordan

Brentwood Academy running back Chris Jordan is considered on of the South's best athletes and he closed in on over 20 offers this year. Despite the attention Jordan, 6-foot-2, 201-pounds, has already cut his favorite list down to three with his last official visit coming this weekend to Alabama before he makes his decision.

This past weekend Jordan tripped to Kentucky, a new team added to his favorites and two weeks before that he was in Clemson. Alabama has been the near or the leader for his signature since the Tide first offered and this weekend's visits could go a long way in securing his pledge.

Jordan is a four-star prospect and Rivals250 member. He is rated as the nation's 24th best athlete and No. 3 prospect in Tennessee. He boasts 4.48-40 speed, 300-pound bench press and 34-inch vertical jump.

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Glenn Harbin

McGill-Toolen defensive end Glenn Harbin has seen his stock continue to rise throughout the summer and his senior year with strong performances in camps and on the gridiron. Harbin, 6-foot-6, 250-pounds, totaled over 20 offers this year and he has narrowed his list down to a tentative five schools.

Alabama, Florida, FSU, LSU and South Carolina occupy his top spots and his visit to the Capstone this weekend will be his firs official of the year. Harbin was in Tuscaloosa several times this year for unofficial visits and Alabama has been considered the odds on favorite to land his signature.

Harbin is rated a four-star prospect and is a member of the Rivals250. He is rated the nation's 12th best strongside defensive end. He boasts a 34-inch vertical jump and 280-pound bench press.

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Chris Tolliver

Considered to be the top wide receiver prospect in Louisiana and one of the most sought after in the nation, Rayville Chris Tolliver has the long list of suitors to prove it. Currently Tolliver, 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, has three schools on top of his wish list with expected visits to all in the near future.

Alabama, Florida, and LSU are the three leaders for Tolliver. In recent interviews he has said that Alabama is currently holding down his top spot. He was in Tuscaloosa for an unofficial during the season and his official this week will be his first of the year.

Tolliver is a four-star prospect and a member of the Rivals100. He is rated the nation's No. 10 wide out and 2nd best player in the Pelican State.

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In-state offensive lineman picking up steam

Anniston lineman Antoine McClain entered the year as one of the South's top offensive lineman and he did little to harm his reputation during his senior season. With over 20 offers, McClain, 6-foot-6, 317 pounds has narrowed his focus on Alabama, Auburn, LSU, USC, Clemson, Tennessee and FSU.

So far this year, McClain has taken numerous trip to the Capstone for unofficial visits, including twice for camp and at least three games. The battle for his signature is expected to stay in-state, but Tennessee, Georgia and Clemson are trying to lead him out of the state.

McClain is a four-star prospect and a member of the Rivals250. He is rated the nation's 14th best offensive tackle. He boasts a 320-pound bench press and 500 squat.

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Auburn legacy headed to Tuscaloosa

Enterprise two-way lineman T.J. Barnes hasn't seen a lot of fanfare surrounding his recruitment and for the most part, he's been quiet during his senior season. But Barnes, 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, is receiving heavy interest from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia Tech.

Two weekends ago, Barnes was at Georgia Tech and this week, he's headed to the Capstone with a third visit to Auburn on the agenda before he makes his final decision. To date, his recruitment seems wide-open, but Barnes has family connections to Auburn with his father having played for the Tigers.

Currently Barnes is ranked a three-star prospect and the nation's 44th best offensive tackle, but he could project on the defensive line as well. He boasts a 320-pound bench press, 550-squat and 26-inch vertical jump.

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Robert Quinn

South Carolina athlete Robert Quinn used his athleticism and versatility to earned over 20 scholarship offers this year. Quinn, 6-foot-5, 245-pounds, could project at linebacker or defensive end on the college level. Currently he lists seven schools as his favorites with three standing above the rest.

Alabama, Auburn, North Carolina, Rutgers, South Carolina, FSU and Maryland make up his top seven with the Tide, Tigers and Tar Heels holding his top spots. His visit to the Capstone this weekend will be his first official visit of the year. He was in Tuscaloosa earlier this year for an unofficial trip.

Quinn is rated a four-star prospect and the nation's 4th best pass rusher by Rivals.com. He boasts a 280-bench press and 30-inch vertical jump.

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Lavar Edwards

Baton Rouge native Lavar Edwards hasn't gotten the publicity that some of his in-state counterparts have but the defensive end prospect has certainly got the respect of college coaches. Edwards, 6-foot-4, 270-pounds, with over a dozen offers has already taken two official visits with Alabama on deck this weekend.

Tennessee (10-26) and Oklahoma last week were his first two officials. Both schools have offered along with Alabama, Florida and LSU among others. Edwards has been quiet for much of the recruiting process but it's believed he is wide-open. He has a teammate committed to the Bengal Tigers.

Edwards is rated a three-star prospect and 43rd overall defensive end. He boasts a 305-pound bench press and 27-inch vertical jump.


Committed players

While most of the attention this week for Tide fans will be on the uncommitted players several of the top Alabama pledges will be on campus. In fact, the bulk of Alabama's No. 3 ranked class will be in attendance for their official visits and to possibly help the Tide land a few of the non-commits.

Woodlawn two-way star Undra Billingsley picked up early offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Vanderbilt before deciding to pledge to Alabama. Billingsley, 6-foot-4, 260-pounds, played numerous positions during his senior year but projects on the offense or defensive line in college.

He is rated a three-star prospect and the nation's 20th best strongside defensive end by Rivals.com. He boasts a 295-pound bench press and 550 squat.

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Norcross athlete Devonta Bolton amassed over 20 scholarship offers before narrowing his list down to Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Georgia and Florida. In August at a press conference at his high school Bolton, 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, gave his verbal commitment to the Tide. Capable of playing numerous positions Bolton will likely get his first long in Alabama's wide receiving corp.

Bolton is ranked a four-star prospect and a Rivals250 member by Rivals.com. He is the nation's 20th best athlete. He boasts a 330-pound bench press, 470 squat and 35-inch vertical jump.

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Gulf Coast Community College defensive lineman Terrence Cody is the latest Alabama commitment with the 6-foot-6, 395-pounder choosing the Tide last week. Joining Alabama in the hunt for his services was Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Tennessee among others. The massive tackle is expected to man the noseguard position for Kevin Steele's 3-4 defense.

Cody is ranked a four-star prospect and the nation's 23rd best junior college prospects. He boasts a 350-pound bench press and 600 squat. He will be a May graduate and enroll at Alabama in June.

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Florida native Star Jackson put a smile of Alabama coaches faces after his chose the Tide at a press conference at his high school in September. Jackson, 6-foot-3, 182-pounds, chose Alabama over offers from Auburn, Georgia and West Virginia among others. He was a member of the Elite 11 quarterbacks and one of the fastest rising prospects in South Florida when he gave his verbal pledge.

He is rated a four-star prospect and a Rivals250 member. Jackson is the nation's No. 6 pro-style quarterback. This year he totaled over 20 scores and 20 touchdowns as a senior.

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Perhaps no prospect in Alabama saw their stock rise faster than Foley defensive back Robert Lester who earned several scholarship offers after a national televised game in which he was a standout. Lester, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, picked up offers from Clemson, Colorado, Kentucky and Oklahoma in addition to Alabama. He committed to Alabama a few days after garnering his offer.

Currently Lester is ranked a three-star prospect and the nation's 39th best safety prospect. He was instrumental in Foley's deep run into the playoffs as both a defender and special team standout.

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Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Brandon Lewis was one of the first verbal commitments for the Alabama staff when he gave his commitment to the Tide in March. Lewis, 6-foot-3, 260-pounds, picked up offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Tennessee before the commitment. A versatile athlete he could project at defensive end or tackle at Alabama. He also saw time at tight end during his senior year.

Lewis is rated a four-star prospect and the nation's 15the best strongside defensive end. He boasts a 295-pound bench press, 550 squat and 30-inch vertical jump.

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Mt. Brook offensive lineman Tyler Love put the scare into a lot of Alabama fans when he took several visits the summer but ultimate the lifelong Tide fan went with his heard and pledged to Nick Saban. Love, 6-foot-7, 285-pounds, has offers from all the national powers.

Love is rated a five-star prospect and a member of the Rivals100. He is rated the nation's No. 6 offensive tackle. He boasts 360-pound bench press and 26-inch vertical jump.

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One of the biggest shockers in the recruiting class was Vigor standout Burton Scott. The surprise wasn't the school he chose but instead the timing. Expected to go late in the recruiting process Scott, 5-foot-, 194-pounds, pulled the trigger in July after camping at Alabama for five days. Auburn, Florida, FSU, LSU, Miami and USC were some of his 30 plus offers.

Scott is rated a five-star prospect and the nation's 3rd best athlete. He boasts 4.5-40 speed, a 310-pound bench press, 550 squat and 39-inch vertical jump.

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The previous Alabama staff refused to use a scholarship on a kicker but Nick Saban offered West Virginia native Corey Smith early in the process and was rewarded when he received a verbal commitment from him in March. Smith, 6-foot-1, 208-pounds, is a record setting kicker in his home state and also saw time as the punter. Virginia and West Virginia also offered.

Smith is rated the nation's 11th best kicker and West Virginia's No. 2 prospect in the 2008 class.

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