Alabama: Recruiting Notebook

The University of Alabama was busy this past weekend with official visitors, and plenty Tide commitment were doing their own recruiting in Montgomery, Ala. during the Ala.-Miss. All-Star Classic.

Official visitors

The University of Alabama hosted four official visitors which included two players who are already committed to the Tide and two uncommitted prospects. Darius Philon, three-star defensive tackle from Prichard-Vigor, Ala., and Dakota Ball, three-star defensive tackle from Lindale-Pepperell, Ga., were the two committed prospects on campus.

The two uncommitted prospects included Daniel McCullers, three-star defensive tackle from Milledgeville-Georgia Military Academy, Ga., and Dalvin Tomlinson, four-star defensive tackle from McDonough-Henry County, Ga.

Alabama is sitting with 22 commitments in the class of 2012 . A few of the players who will enroll in January will backcount to last year's class. Alabama is in great shape with a few of their top-tier guys, and the numbers will begin to come into play.

McCullers has Alabama and Tennessee at the top of his list. The 6-foot-6, 350-pounder has yet to take the official visit to Rocky Top, and he will announce this month. Tomlinson left Tuscaloosa giving a slight edge to Georgia Tech.

Cooper visits Miami

The four-star wide receiver, from Miami-Northwestern, Fla., took an official visit to the 'U' this past weekend. The Alabama commitment has continued to receive heavy interest from the Canes despite his commitment to the Crimson Tide. Miami had an in-home visit last week, and expected to return this week.

Cooper remains committed to Alabama, but staying close to home is attractive for family and friends. His teammate, Artie Burns, is an Alabama commitment in the class of 2013.

No. 3 recruiting ranking

Denzell Devall was on the hot list for Alabama and LSU, and he announced his decision last week for the Tide. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound prospect was recruited as a linebacker and will join one of the best units in the country.

"Coach Saban came to the house and broke bread," Devall told Scout.com. "I committed, and he was very happy. He couldn't stop smiling. Coach Saban said he would make me into a great person and a great player, and he'll be there for me.

"He refreshed some things that we had already talked about: What Alabama has to offer and where I'd fit into their system. Out of all the linebackers they have committed, he said I'm the most mature-with a chance to come in and play early."

Nick Saban is also going head-to-head with Florida for out-of-state prospects. Kurt Freitag, three-star tight end from Buford, Ga., committed to Alabama a week ago choosing the Tide instead of the Gators who were hot pursuit at the time.

"It has really always been those two schools for me," Freitag told Scout.com. "I changed my mind a few times between them, but I just kept feeling Alabama was the best fit. They are a strong running team, but they know how to use their tight ends too. I like their balance."

"I think Nick Saban is a great head coach as well. He knows how to get his players ready to play, and he has Alabama winning like we do at Buford. I am used to winning, so I want to play for a winner in college. That is another reason I chose them."

The two commitments keep Alabama with the No. 3 overall recruiting class in the country (No. 1 in the SEC). The Tide is creeping a little closer to Texas and Michigan with a chance to close extremely strong in the next month. A few more elite prospects might boost Alabama to the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

Clutch performer

Adam Griffith's biggest kick of his high school career came this past Friday night to upset Buford, the No. 7 ranked team in the country. Griffith connected on four field goals in the game to lift undefeated Calhoun to a 27-24 win against Buford including the game winner in overtime. Buford has won the previous four state championships and was aiming for their fifth in a row. Griffith connected on field goals of 29, 46, 37 and 32.

"It felt great" said Griffith of his game winning kick. "I wasn't thinking about anything. I just knew I had to make it."

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was in attendance to watch the Tide's future kicker in action. He was also watching Alabama commitments Dillon Lee and Kurt Freitag from Buford. Lee had a 40-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to tie the game late in the fourth quarter to force overtime. You know the teammates from Buford hated losing the state championship, but it was probably a little comforting (later) knowing the player who just beat them might help them also win games in the future in Tuscaloosa.

State's best

Jameis Winston and T.J. Yeldon are National 100 players who are arguably the top two players in the state. Winston remains committed to Florida State and T.J. Yeldon to Auburn.

Winston took an official visit to Alabama last week and still plans to take official visits to Auburn, Florida State, LSU and Stanford. The visit to FSU is set for the last weekend in January.

Winston will not likely announce a final decision until after his last official visit. He may also keep everyone guessing a little longer since he will play in the USA vs.The World game on February 1 (National Signing Day). He may wait until after he returns home to Hueytown to sign the letter of intent.

T.J. Yeldon told reporters in Montgomery he remains solid to the Tigers and eager to enroll in January. He may see a lot of playing time in Auburn's season opener against Clemson. Yeldon also said in Montgomery he may take a visit to USC.

Making a move

Ryan Anderson was one of the top performers last week during practice and in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. The Alabama commitment is a different player than he was a year ago after taking on a new role at linebacker and a stand up pass rusher at defensive end. The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder is quick, aggressive and plays like a raging bull. Anderson will easily rank as one of the top 10 players in the state and move into the Scout 300 when the rankings are updated.

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