Looking Back

The University of Alabama has done well recruiting the Volunteer State. Andrew Bone takes a look at the playerswho signed since Head Coach Nick Saban's arrival in Tuscaloosa.

Alex Watkins was a late bloomer who earned an offer from Alabama at the Tide's summer camp in 2007. He was offered by former Alabama head coach Mike Shula. Watkins earned numerous scholarship offers including Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas Tech. He committed to Alabama shortly after earning an offer from the Tide. Watkins remained solid with his decision after the coaching change. The fifth year senior has been a solid contributor in 2011.

Alabama signed the No. 1 class in the country in with the 2008 class. They signed three players from Tennessee including linebacker Dont'a Hightower, offensive lineman Barrett Jones, and linebacker Chris Jordan. Hightower and Jones have received All-American recognition.

Jones waited longer than most predicted with his announcement. He committed in November of his senior year with Alabama the leader throughout his recruitment. His father, Rex Jones, played basketball for the Crimson Tide.

Jones has developed into the top offensive lineman in the SEC and discussed nationally as one of the best. Jones was heavily recruited with scholarship offers from across the country. His top five included Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Jones was also a standout on the defensive side of the ball, but he knew his future was on the offensive line.

Hightower is projected by many NFL experts as a first round draft pick next spring. Most have him as a First Team All-American. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound linebacker was rated as a defensive end coming out of high school.

Hightower held scholarship offers from just about every school in the country. His favorites included Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He also took time with his decision. He committed to Alabama in November of his senior year and had Vanderbilt coming in as runner-up for his signature.

Chris Jordan was a talented high school running back and linebacker. Alabama originally recruited Jordan as a running back, but was moved to linebacker. The Crimson Tide signed another running back in the 2008 class in Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

Jordan committed to Alabama in December after taking an official visit to the Capstone. He held plenty of offers with favorites of Clemson, Georgia Tech and Tennessee. His top two came down to Alabama and Clemson before rolling with the Tide.

Jordan has battled through injuries throughout his career in Tuscaloosa. He has seen playing time on special teams and in the two-deep at the linebacker rotation.

The Alabama coaching staff did not sign any players from Tennessee in the 2009 class. They did recruit a few including offensive lineman Austin Long (Georgia), cornerback Marsalis Teague (Tennessee) and cornerback Eric Gordon (Tennessee).

The staff missed on a few in 2010 in linebacker Justin Maclin (LSU), defensive end Jacques Smith (Tennessee) and offensive lineman James Stone (Tennessee). They did sign two players from the state. However, one is no longer a member of the team.

Harrison Jones, the younger brother of Barrett Jones, was rated one of the top tight ends in the South. Jones collected several scholarship offers including Alabama, Florida State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. He gave each school serious consideration.

Jones decided to take visits during the spring and summer prior to his senior year. He decided August 25th to follow in the footsteps of his brother and father. He was redshirted in 2010.

Keiwone Malone was the other player in 2010 signed by the Tide. Malone committed to Alabama with several offers including Auburn, Ole Miss, North Carolina and Tennessee. He was an early commitment for Alabama and was redshirted in 2010. He transferred from Alabama to Memphis prior to the start of fall practice. He was ruled eligible to play for the Tigers this season.

Alabama signed talented four-star athlete Jabriel Washington in last year's class. Washington was another top flight recruit with offers from across the country including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Cal, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Washington committed in the spring and remained firm with his decision. Washington appears destined for a redshirt year this season.

Alabama has recruited many players in the Volunteer State in the class of 2012 including two offensive linemen in Brandon Hill, three-star tackle from Collierville-St. George's, and Andrew Jelks, three-star tackle from Paris-Henry County, Tenn.

BamaMag Top Stories