Alabama Camps Draw Top Prospects

Summer football camps are playing an increasing role in the evaluation phase of the recruiting process each year. The camps provide an opportunity for college coaches to "eyeball" prospects and to interact with them in a coaching environment. Most colleges have multiple camps during the months of June and July. Alabama will be holding a one-day camp for rising seniors today and a seven-on-seven team passing camp on Saturday.

Some of the top prospects in the state are expected to attend the camp today and at least two of the state's top prospects will attend the Saturday camp with their prep teammates. The following list includes some of the top instate prospects expected to be in Tuscaloosa over the next two days:

Brandon Avalos- Avalos is a 6-foot-2, 178 pound quarterback from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa. He has already attended camps at Auburn, Nebraska, and Purdue. Additionally, Avalos is considering attending the Virginia Tech camp later this month. Avalos has scholarship offers from Purdue, Southern Mississippi, Virginia Tech, and UAB. A gifted athlete, Avalos has also received a scholarship offer from the Alabama baseball program. Avalos' versatility as an athlete who runs well will leave his college choice with multiple options to meet team needs.

Grant Brigham- Brigham is a 6-foot, 170 pound wide receiver from Mountain Brook. He is known for his outstanding quickness and speed. Brigham uses his vision to be a dangerous threat after the catch. Another strong point for Brigham is his ability to return punts and kickoffs. Brigham has already attended the Furman camp. Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Furman, Louisiana State, Richmond, Samford, Southern Mississippi, UAB, and Vanderbilt have extended scholarship offers to Brigham. Furman is a possibility for Brigham as his brother, Hindley, is a running back for the Paladins.

Christopher Browder- Browder is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defensive end/linebacker from Wilcox-Central High School in Camden. Browder has already attended camps at Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss. The one-day camp will be a return trip to Tuscaloosa for Browder. Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss have extended scholarship offers to Browder as a defensive end. Alabama is recruiting Browder as a linebacker with the possibility to grow into a defensive end at some point in his career. Browder is known as a "head-hunter" on the football field.

Dan Burks- Burks is a 6-foot, 198 pound running back from Vestavia Hills. He has already attended the Auburn camp and he plans to attend the UAB camp later this month. Burks is the son of former Auburn player, Ken Burks. Southern Mississippi and UAB have extended scholarship offers to Burks. Versatility is a strong market value and Burks could project as a fullback, running back, safety, or even linebacker at some point in his career. Burks is also an excellent kickoff returner and he has the type of physical nature to be a special teams demon.

Chris Harris- Harris is a 6-foot-5, 225 pound defensive end from Central High School in Tuscaloosa. He is known for his outstanding quickness off the edge as a pass rusher. Harris has already attended camps at Alabama and Louisiana State. He is expected to see some action at tight end as a senior but Harris projects as a defensive end on the college level. Harris selected the Crimson Tide over several other programs and his return trip to the one-day camp is a sign of his solid commitment.

Lawrence Lilly- Lilly is a 6-foot-3, 246 pound tight end from Montevallo. He has already attended camps at Auburn and Ole Miss. Lilly is an outstanding receiving Tight end who has garnered scholarship offers from Duke, Ole Miss, UAB, and Vanderbilt. His team needed him to play defensive end for their last three games but Lilly projects as a tight end on the college level. Lilly is a strong possibility to receive even more scholarship offers as the recruiting process progresses.

Chauncey Malone- Malone is a 6-foot, 175 pound athlete from West Morgan High School in Trinity. He could project as a defensive back, running back, or wide receiver on the college level. Malone has already attended the Auburn camp and the Alabama camp appears to be his last destination for the summer. Alabama, Auburn, and UAB have extended scholarship offers to Malone. The Class of 2002 instate prospects is shaping up to be a talented group and Malone is one of the very best.

Grame McFarland- McFarland is a 6-foot-2, 198 pound quarterback from Mountain Brook. He has been a "camp warrior" throughout a summer tour that has already included stops at Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame, Southern Mississippi, and Virginia. McFarland has scholarship offers from Kansas, Southern Mississippi, UAB, and Vanderbilt. Former Alabama player Joey Jones is the head coach at Mountain Brook High School and McFarland teams with Grant Brigham to execute his high-powered offense.

Ben Obomanu- Obomanu is a 6-foot-2, 184 pound wide receiver from Selma. He has already attended summer camps at Auburn, Ole Miss, and Nebraska. He also plans to attend camps at Louisiana State and UAB after the one-day camp at Alabama. Obomanu is electrifying with the football in his hands as a receiver, punt returner, or kickoff returner. Alabama, Auburn, Louisiana State, Memphis, Nebraska, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and UAB have extended scholarship offers. Obomanu is listed among the top 100 prospects in the nation and he may very well be his class valedictorian.

Henry Smith- Smith is a 6-foot-3, 283 pound defensive lineman from Aliceville. He has already attended camp at Auburn this summer. Alabama, Auburn, Louisiana State, Tennessee, and UAB have all extended scholarship offers to Smith. Excellent quickness, size, and strength should allow Smith to be a highly effective defensive tackle on the college level. Smith also plays on the offensive line for his team and his prowess on that side of the football could have the coordinators of his future college fighting for his services.

Kyle Tatum- Tatum is a 6-foot-6, 259 pound defensive lineman from Prattville. This summer, Tatum has already made trips to Auburn and Ole Miss for summer camps. He also plans to attend camps at Florida, Florida State, and Louisiana State after the one-day camp at Alabama. Scholarship offers have been extended to Tatum from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Louisiana State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Tatum will most likely project as a defensive tackle on the college level. An early public commitment to Alabama from Tatum would not be a surprise.

The one-day senior camp is also expected to draw a highly recruited spectator. Titus Ryan, a 6-foot-1, 186 pound athlete from Tuscaloosa County High School, is expected to make the short drive from Northport to Tuscaloosa today. Ryan is considering scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, and UAB. He could project as a defensive back, running back, or wide receiver on the college level. Nick Luke, a 6-foot-1, 213 pound fullback/linebacker from Central High School in Phenix City, will not participate in either of the camps but he is expected to make an unofficial visit to Tuscaloosa on Monday or Tuesday. Luke (pictured above) has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Southern Mississippi, and West Virginia. Luke is the half-brother of Triandos Luke, a sophomore wide receiver on the current Alabama football team.

The seven-on-seven team passing camp on Saturday will also draw some of the state's top talent. Overall, 24 prep teams are expected to attend the camp and among those are Butler High School and Muscle Shoals High School. Kenneth Darby, a 5-foot-10, 188 pound running back from Butler, has already committed to Alabama. Jason Allen, an athlete from Muscle Shoals, is considering scholarship offers from every program in the Southeastern Conference. Allen (pictured at left), a 6-foot-1, 198-pounder, could project as a defensive back, running back, or wide receiver on the college level. Allen and Darby are forging a fast friendship through the recruiting process.


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