Tide vs. Tigers

The two in-state SEC programs continue to battle for in-state prospects with one high profile recruit picking the Tigers this week. Take a closer look at who has committed to the two schools and several remaining targets.

Alabama in-state commitments

The Tide has landed 13 commitments in the 2012 class, five from within the state borders. The verbal pledges are led by Reggie Ragland, five-star linebacker from Madison-Bob Jones and the No. 1 rated middle linebacker in the country. He is currently ranked the No. 3 prospect in the state behind uncommitted players Kwon Alexander, five-star outside linebacker from Oxford and Jameis Winston, five-star quarterback from Hueytown.

Alabama has top 10 in-state players Tyler Hayes, four-star outside linebacker from Thomasville and Justin Thomas, four-star wide receiver from Prattville. Thomas plays quarterback for the Lions and recruited as a quarterback and athlete.

Alabama also has commitments from Ryan Anderson, three-star defensive end from Daphne, and Caleb Gulledge, three-star defensive end from Prattville. Anderson, 6-foot-3, 250-pounds, was recruited by Alabama as a 'Jack' linebacker. Gulledge plays on the offensive line on the next level.

Four of the five commitments also received scholarship offers from Auburn before making their decision. Caleb Gulledge was the only one who had not received an offer, but he was receiving a lot of interest during the spring from Tigers offensive line coach Jeff Grimes.

Auburn in-state commitments

The Tigers have landed four in-state players of their nine commitments. They landed a big prospect on Tuesday from T.J. Yeldon who is a four-star running back from Daphne. He is the state's top running back prospect and also had an offer from Alabama.

Cassanova McKinzy, four-star middle linebacker from Birmingham-Woodlawn, was the first player to commit in the Tigers. The 6-foot-3, 233-pound athlete is a great player on both sides of the ball, but will stick to defense at the next level.

Darrion Hutcherson, four-star tight end from Dadeville, is a player who really escalated his stock during the spring. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound athlete is a physical specimen and creates immediate mis-matches on the offensive side of the ball. Hutcherson received an offer from Alabama after he had already committed to the Tigers.

Darius Philon, three-star defensive end from Prichard-Vigor, is a well-coached athlete coming from the Port City school known as a hot bed for talent. Philon did not have an offer from Alabama.

Scout 300 (in order)

1. Reggie Ragland (No. 33)
2. T.J. Yeldon (No. 98)
3. Tyler Hayes (No. 127)
4. Cassanova McKinzy (No. 177)
5. Justin Thomas (No. 196)
6. Darrion Hutcherson (No. 267)

Slight edge

Alabama is currently winning the in-state battle on paper, but both schools have three players each in the Scout 300. Ragland gives the Tide the edge with his five-star ranking. Alabama has one more commitment who also had an offer from Auburn.

Targets with both in-state offers

1. Kwon Alexander (five-star linebacker, Oxford): Does not list favorites. Alabama and Auburn major contenders.
2. Jameis Winston (five-star quarterback, Hueytown): Alabama, Florida State, LSU. Auburn elminated following Zeke Pike's commitment.
3. Justin Shanks (National 100 defensive tackle, Prattville): Appears Alabama/Auburn battle.
4. Beniquez Brown (four-star outside linebacker, Florence): Alabama heavy favorite
5. Tyler Nero (four-star defensive tackle, Escambia County): Alabama/Auburn battle
6. Caleb Peterson (three-star offensive guard, Auburn): Does not list any favorites. Alabama/Auburn contenders.
7. Trae Elston (three-star cornerback, Oxford): Expected to choose between Clemson, LSU and Tennessee.
8. Javiie Mitchell (three-star outside linebacker, Leeds): Auburn appears in real good shape.

Emerging prospects

Darren Lake, defensive tackle from York-Sumter County, has been described by several high school coaches as the best in-state at his position. He recently added offers from Alabama and Tennessee.

Jamichael Winston, defensive end from Prichard-Vigor, is receiving a lot of interest from Alabama and Auburn.


Both programs are doing very well with each adding a five-star prospect which includes Alabama commitment Eddie Williams, safety from Panama City Beach-Arnold, Fla., and Auburn commitment Zeke Pike, quarterback from Ft. Mitchell-Dixie Heights, Ky.

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