January Bound

The University of Alabama has benefited with several early enrollees. The players have also seen the benefits of going through spring drills with early playing time. Andrew Bone takes a look at the commitments who will arrive in January, and a several uncommitted players who will also graduate in December.

Players like Terrence Cody, James Carpenter, Jesse Williams and Quinton Dial saw immediate playing time after spending the early time on campus. DeQuan Menzie was a junior college transfer who did not arrive until the summer.

Trey DePriest and Vinnie Sunseri arrived in Tuscaloosa in January which the Tide has seen great results with their playing time. Sunseri recovered a fumble in last week's game against Tennessee.

Four Alabama commitments enrolling early also see a depth chart which might lead to playing time next fall. These include Chris Black, National 100 wide receiver from Jacksonville-First Coast, Fla., Geno Smith, National 100 cornerback from Atlanta-St. Pius X, Ga., Dillon Lee, four-star linebacker from Buford, Ga., and Ryan Anderson, three-star defensive end from Daphne, Ala.

Alabama will lose players to graduation and to the NFL on the offensive and defensive side of the ball especially at receiver, linebacker and the defensive backfield.

"I didn't know if I would go to Alabama early or not," said Dillon Lee. "I thought about going to a training facility here. My parents feel comfortable sending me to Alabama early. There is nothing better than what Alabama can give me."

Alabama will continue to depend on their playmakers on offense especially with the departures of starting receivers Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks.

"Coach Saban was pretty much giving me some pointers," Chris Black said of his meeting with future head coach this past weekend. "He was telling me what it takes. He can't wait for me to come, and I can't wait to get there.

"He told me I need to come in thinking about progress. He was telling me what it takes to be one of the top guys. A lot of guys come in from high school thinking they are the top guy. You have to work to be the top guy once you are there."

These four commitments are not the only players the coaching staff remains hopeful will arrive in Tuscaloosa in January.

A couple of junior college players can see the field early next fall. Travell Dixon, four-star cornerback from Thatcher-Eastern Arizona, Ariz., will take his first official visit to Alabama next week. Dixon has high interest in the Tide and considered the team to beat for his signature.

Deion Belue, three-star cornerback from Booneville-Northeast Mississippi, signed with Alabama in 2010. The coaching staff plans to resign Belue if he graduates in December.

Landon Collins, five-star safety from Geismar-Dutchtown, La., also plans to graduate early. The high school prospect will announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America game. This is an Alabama and LSU battle, and he plans to visit Tuscaloosa next week for the LSU game.

Daniel McCullers, defensive tackle from Milledgeville-Georgia Military, Ga., is a monster player who can play on either side of the ball. Alabama is recruiting as a nose tackle. Alabama and Tennessee are the top two schools for his signature.

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