Alabama: Recruiting class

The University of Alabama had commitments from 15 players players at this time a year ago in the 2011 recruiting class. The Tide has four more verbal pledges in the class of 2012 heading into the high school football season. Andrew Bone takes a closer look comparing the two.

A lot of recruits like to make their college decision prior to their senior season. They can give their full attention to their high school team and academics rather than continuing the recruiting process until a later date.

Alabama has seen several top-tier recruits announce their college decision in the last few weeks. The Crimson Tide has added commitments from National 100 recruits Chris Black, four-star wide receiver from Jacksonville-First Coast, Fla., and Geno Smith, four-star cornerback from Atlanta-St. Pius X, Ga. Both recruits are rated No. 1 at their position in their home state.

The coaching staff had 15 commitments at this point last year and went on to sign a total of 22. Brent Calloway was a commitment at the time, but did switch his commitment to Auburn in January before switching back to the Tide on signing day. Gadsden City wide receiver Daryl Collins was a commitment, but switched to Kentucky.

Alabama had early in-state commitments from players like Marvin Shinn, Brent Calloway, Danny Woodson, Jr. and Vinnie Sunseri. They also did a lot of damage outside the state landing the top safety in the country Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix and the nation's top linebacker, Trey DePriest. The staff also had commitments prior to the season from Scout 300 recruits Ryan Kelly, Jabirel Washington and Bradley Sylve.

The staff would only add an additional two commitments until December. They received commitments from Juco defensive lineman Jesse Williams and in-state athlete Christion Jones. Both prospects committed in September, and the coaching staff did not see another commitment until two months later.

Alabama is standing with 17 commitments in the recruiting class. We have seen a lot of movement recently with prospects making their college choices across the Southeast. We should see a few more players making their decisions soon, but for the most part top recruits who are uncommitted will stay that way until after the season or after they take official visits. There are several who will wait it out until signing day.

Alabama typically battles Auburn for top in-state recruits. Florida State has made a serious statement in the state this year landing three National 100 recruits in Jameis Winston, Chris Casher and Justin Shanks. They also have a commitment from Scout 300 member, Alphonse Taylor.

The Seminoles and Tigers are landing great recruits in the state, and Alabama is still collecting top talent within their borders led by five-star linebacker Reggie Ragland and Thomasville's four-star linebacker Tyler Hayes. They have also done a great job out-of-state. Early commitments from Eddie Williams, National 100 safety from Panama City-Arnold, Fla., and Kenyan Drake, four-star running back from Powder Springs-Hillgorve, Ga., were big recruiting boosts in the neighboring states.

The coaching staff offered two elite prospects during the summer and both committed. Casey Gladney, three-star wide receiver from Columbia, S.C., and Darren Lake, three-star defensive tackle from York-Sumter County Central, Ala., had outstanding camp performances. Lake has the potential as one the best at his position in the state with his size, speed and power.

Alabama reeled in Cyrus Kouandjoo, Xzavier Dickson, Jeoffrey Pagan and Dee Hart in the final month of the recruiting season last year. The Tide can still land in the upper tier ranked recruiting classes if they land four additional Scout 300 prospects (three National 100) like they did a year ago in the final month.

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