Outside of the upper-echelon players, underclassmen seldom know when they are serious targets for elite national programs like Alabama. What can help them separate moderate interest from the beginning of an all-out push for a player is an event like Saturday's Junior Day.
With dozens of prospects expected on campus, some of the top targets will most certainly be pulled aside at one point during the day for exclusive one-on-one time with Nick Saban or another member of the staff.
Moves like that have led to early commitments in the past, and it wouldn't floor most if the process duplicated this time around with another good group of players in Tuscaloosa combined with another championship to Alabama's name.
Among the many players expected Saturday include top 2014 Crimson Tide targets like five-star cornerback Marlon Humphrey, the Hoover (Ala.) standout and son of former Tide great Bobby Humphrey. He headlines a group of players that are already beginning to get close because of their shared national exposure. Joining Humphrey will be junior running back commitment Bo Scarborough, a four-star, of Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge. He has been recruiting for Alabama since he committed in the fall, and has targeted this day to try and help seal the deal with players like Humphrey, fellow 2014 four-star running back Racean Thomas of Oxford (Ala.) High and big three-star offensive lineman and NFL Legacy Orlando Brown of Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge High.
"I want my boys "Roc ( Thomas), Orlando (Brown, Jr.), Marlon (Humphrey). I'm working hard on them," said Scarborough.
That group is certainly the top group of targets, but several other talented players will be in town. Like the group mentioned above, the elite targets already come to town with offers from Alabama - so a commitment is possible.
Among the best in the state expected are a trio of four-star defensive players, each viewing UA highly early in the process. Linebacker Tre Williams, defensive back Ronnie Clark and defensive end/outside linebacker Rashaan Evans each garner specific attention from Saban and company. Each is undeclared at this time, which can't be said for Atlanta (Ga.) St. Pius X safety Nick Glass, a Georgia pledge taking in Tuscaloosa with friends Demarre Kitt, Dante Sawyer and Bryson Allen-Williams. Kitt, a four-star wide receiver, holds an Alabama offer at this time while Glass and Allen-Williams may add one in the near future.
Other prospects expected to attend, with current verbal offers from the Tide, include three-star quarterback E.J. Moss and recently offered defensive tackle Dontavius Russell. But perhaps most intriguing of any visitor on the list we've compiled thus far is Brandon Dawkins. The four-star quarterback from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian High is primarily a Pac-12 target despite an early offer from Notre Dame. But at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, combined with the direction of Doug Nussmeier's offense at Alabama, it wouldn't surprise many if he traveled back to California with a UA offer on the table.
We here at BamaMag.com will have updates throughout the coming days on how the Junior Day went Saturday, and the most up-to-the-minute information will be available in our premium forums. Refresh there periodically, or simply click HERE for the latest.
In the meantime, here's a look at Dawkins.