A handful of Alabama commits competed with and against several Tide targets at The Opening over the weekend – so let's get everyone up to speed with the latest on each player courtesy of Chad Simmons and the FOX Sports NEXT crew who were on the Scene in Oregon.
Each of the five ‘Bama verbals in attendance held their own. O.J. Howard was commonly referred to as one of the more physical presences at the event and everyone was impressed with Altee Tenpenny's form as he continues to inch toward 100 percent after recovering from his broken fibula. Cooper Bateman was solid in the camp setting and led Super Bad to the 7ON championship. Maurice Smith snagged some more Dre Kirkpatrick comparisons while Reuben Foster rested the hamstring he injured on the first fay of action.
Howard, the No. 2 TE in America, received the most praise of the committed prospects and he re-affirmed his pledge.
"Quite possibly the freakiest athlete in the event, Howard looks like an NFL tight end right now," said West Recruiting Analyst Brandon Huffman. "Excellent hands, excellent speed, extremely physical and a precise route-runner, he outran a corner he outweighed by 40 pounds and was four inches taller than on a 60-yard catch and run."
Tenpenny clocked sub-4.5 40-yard dashes and helped ease the minds of Alabama fans to go along with an impressive 211-pound frame. The four-star RB admitted that Arkansas is still on his mind, but called his verbal to the Tide "at 98 percent."
Bateman, one of two UA QB commits, shook off early rust to perform better as time progressed.
"He threw several nice deep balls with plenty of air underneath and made good decisions with the football when his receiver just wasn't able to get open," said West Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins. "He looked much more comfortable throwing in the pocket than in designed roll outs as he has a tendency to drop his elbow a bit and pushes the ball too much."
Smith's size and skill combination is still what impresses scout's the most along with his job at trying to help the Tide hold on to Foster.
"He's a big, strong guy," said Midlands Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers. "If it didn't work out at corner he could easily slide over and play safety...he gave Rebuen Foster the business after they got back from talking about taking a trip to visit Washington. He said ‘don't worry about that.' He (Smith) and the other Alabama commitments like Altee Tenpenny are going to be talking to him to make sure that commitment to ‘Bama is firmed up."
Foster, himself continues to admit he's looking around some.
"I am still committed to Alabama and that part hasn't changed, but I would say I am looking around a little more than I was," Foster told Simmons after suffering the injury on Friday. "I just have to find the right place for me and I have to make my own decision. A lot of people are telling me different things, but I have the make my own decision."