RECRUITING: Alabama Top 35-Part II

Who are the top 35 prospects in Alabama? There is no absolute method of ranking prospects but our research has produced 35 prospects with early offers. Updated lists will follow as the recruiting season moves along but the following list is a good place to start the pre-season rankings of the top prospects in the state. The Top 35 list will be presented alphabetically and it will be broken down into three parts. The following is Part II:

DL Ben Grubbs (6-5/250/4.91) Elmore County High School-Eclectic, AL- Grubbs raised his stock on the recruiting boards of college coaches with a strong performance at the Capital City Combine in May. On the football field, Grubbs tallied 138 tackles, seven fumbles caused, and six sacks. Grubbs spent significant time at linebacker during his junior season which is rare for a player his size. He also played right tackle on the offensive side of the football. Alabama, Louisiana State, and UAB have extended scholarship offers to Grubbs. Mississippi State and Troy State were the only programs to get a summer football camp visit from the big guy. Other programs under consideration are Auburn and Ole Miss.

DB/WR Lance Hamilton (6-2/205/4.56) Washington County High School-Chatom, AL- Hamilton could project as a free safety or wide receiver on the college level. As a junior, Hamilton hauled in 78 passes for 1,862 yards and 14 touchdowns. On defense, Hamilton made 90 tackles and snared 12 interceptions. Hamilton's combination of outstanding height, range, and leaping ability (41-inches) was nearly unstoppable as he helped lead his team deep into the state playoffs and an 11-3 record. Not surprisingly, Hamilton is also an excellent athlete on the hardwood. Hamilton attended summer football camp at Alabama. Other teams on Hamilton's list are Auburn, Louisiana State, and Southern Mississippi.

DE Chris Harris (6-6/225/4.78) Central High School-Tuscaloosa, AL- Harris committed very early in the recruiting process and has probably not received the recognition he deserves from recruiting analysts. College coaches always mention Harris as a "flash guy," which is a player with the ability to rush the passer with quickness and speed off the edge. Harris has the height and frame to get much larger and he still has the flexibility to change directions well around the line of scrimmage. He projects as a defensive end on the college level. As a junior, Harris contributed 82 tackles and 17 sacks toward his team's cause. Harris will also play some tight end on offense as a prep senior. Committed to Alabama.

LB/QB Will Herring (6-3/201/4.53) Opelika, AL- Herring's speed was a model of consistency at summer camps and combines. He was timed in the 40-yard dash at five different football camps and one combine. On six different surfaces, Herring's times ranged from 4.63 to 4.51 seconds. Herring plays quarterback in high school but his overall athletic ability will leave college coaches with multiple options for his college position. Herring aggregated close to 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns of total offense as a junior. He attended summer camps at Auburn, Georgia, Middle Tennessee State, Nike-Baton Rouge, and Tennessee. Herring has already received scholarship offers from Auburn, Middle Tennessee State, and UAB.

CB Tyrone Hicks (5-8.5/174/4.50) Lee High School-Huntsville, AL- Hicks is the brother of current Middle Tennessee State running back, Dwone Hicks. Middle Tennessee State, Southern Mississippi, and UAB have all offered scholarships. Hicks led the state of Alabama in interceptions (eight) as a junior and he has a total of 15 career interceptions heading into his senior season. He also added 57 tackles to his defensive totals for his junior season. Hicks was the starting guard on the top 5A basketball team in the state and a key contributor (high jump, 100-meters, sprint relays) for the top track team. He attended summer football camps at Louisville and Middle Tennessee State.

DT Tommy Jackson (6-1/293/5.12) Opelika, AL- "Tommy attended summer camps at three major programs and there wasn't an offensive lineman at any of them that could handle him," said Opelika High School Defensive Coordinator Smitty Grider. "His first step is more explosive than any kid I've ever seen." As a junior, Jackson recorded 130 tackles, seven sacks, three fumbles caused, and two fumbles recovered. On offense, Jackson anchored the offensive line as a tackle. Jackson attended summer football camps at Auburn, Georgia, and Louisiana State. Wrestling is another sport that Jackson excels at and he has also been known to dunk a basketball with two hands. Auburn, Louisiana State, and UAB have offered scholarships.

TE Lawrence Lilly (6-3/246/4.89) Montevallo, AL- Lilly is one of the top receiving tight ends in the Southeast despite playing only one season of meaningful action on the gridiron. He presents a big target and he also has the ability to adjust to the football. Lilly caught 22 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. He also played three games on defense and turned in 24 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Lilly attended summer football camps at Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Scholarship offers are already on the table from Duke, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and UAB. His father is a 7-footer who played basketball for the New York Knicks.

FB/LB Nick Luke (6-1/215/4.71) Central High School-Phenix City, AL- "Nick has all of the ability in the world," said Central High School Head Coach Ron Nelson. "He has a great combination of size and athleticism." As a junior, Luke rushed for 494 yards and ten touchdowns on only 80 attempts. He also caught 12 passes for 140 yards. Luke plays wingback in his team's Wing-T offense but he could project as a fullback or linebacker on the college level. Luke attended summer football camp at Auburn. His brother, Triandos Luke, is currently a wide receiver at Alabama. Luke has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina State, Southern Mississippi, and West Virginia.

ATH Chauncey Malone (6-0/175/4.50) West Morgan High School-Trinity, AL- Malone is one of the most explosive offensive players in the state of Alabama. Quickness and speed are the tools of talented skill players and Malone is loaded with both. As a junior, he rushed for 968 yards and twelve touchdowns in only six games. Defensively, he produced 36 tackles, two fumbles caused, and one interception. Malone could project as a defensive back, running back, or wide receiver on the college level. Alabama, Auburn, and UAB have all extended scholarship offers. Malone participated in summer football camps at Alabama and Auburn.

LB Tyrone Martin (6-0/208/4.68) Benjamin Russell-Alexander City, AL- Martin projects as a linebacker on the college level but fullback would not be a stretch. Solid academics, athleticism, and character have already netted scholarship offers from Duke and UAB. Additional scholarship offers from other major college programs will almost certainly be on the table by the time National Signing Day arrives. As a junior, Martin tallied 122 tackles, 10 fumbles caused, eight fumbles recovered, seven sacks, and four interceptions. Offensively, Martin gained 101 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries in two games. Martin attended summer football camps at Auburn and Georgia.

QB Graeme McFarland (6-2/198/4.81) Mountain Brook, AL- McFarland has been the talk of the summer with strong performances on the summer camp circuit. College coaches at Alabama, Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame, Southern Mississippi, and Virginia got a close look at McFarland's talents at their camps. McFarland has already received scholarship offers from Kansas, Southern Mississippi, UAB, and Vanderbilt. As a junior, McFarland passed for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also contributed over 300 yards of offense on the ground. McFarland is a strong student and academics could be a factor in his college decision.

FB Greg McLain (6-2/221/4.71) Lineville, AL- "Greg blocks well on our leads and sweeps on offense," said Lineville High School Head Coach Steve Giddens. "Nobody runs his way on defense, either." McLain rushed for over 800 yards and 15 touchdowns on offense. He also hurt opposing teams through the air with two touchdown receptions. On defense, McLain made 80 tackles and two sacks. His production on both sides of the football could project McLain as a defensive end, fullback, or linebacker. McLain attended summer football camp at UAB and the Blazers have already extended a scholarship offer along with Duke and Southern Mississippi.

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