While it appeared the writing was on the wall for the four-star to have a change of heart, it still leaves Alabama without a current cornerback commitment in the class of 2014. Stephen Roberts did the same last month, which had brought that number to one before Bessent bolted.
As many would expect, Nick Saban and company have a specific plan to bring in some of the nation's best at the position, despite what has transpired over the last three weeks or so.
The timing is interesting as well, as Jalen Tabor is set to take his official visit to Alabama this coming weekend. The four-star is ranked as the No. 5 cornerback in the country on Scout, the first one rated outside of five-stars, so he 'll have the chance to change that later this month at the Under Armour game.
Tabor, who is known for his length (6-foot-2) and incredible ball skills, is also considering Arizona, Florida and hometown Maryland along with the Tide. He's already visited each school officially, save for Alabama, and the weekend visit will be his final trip before he makes a private decision on Christmas Day. The public will be informed of his choice at the Under Armour game on January 2.
The 195-pounder also has the ability to play safety if needed, but he prefers cornerback for the NFL potential of the position. Saban likes him there as well, and his parents have told him more than once that they want him at Alabama. He maintains that he will make his own decision, but mom and dad will be accompanying him in Tuscaloosa in a matter of days. Many consider the battle between a hometown movement at Maryland and Alabama for the mid-year graduate.
Tony Brown, America's top cornerback, could be an X-factor for 'Bama.
The No. 1 cornerback in America is Tony Brown, the Texas track star that can do it all within the defensive backfield. Because of his sister's enrollment there, the buzz in his recruitment has always been geared towards the LSU Tigers, where he'll be this weekend, but Brown has never publicly stated that Baton Rouge is the likeliest place he will spend the next few years of his life. Alabama had him on campus for an official visit ironically against LSU last month, and he was presented by the track program as well as football.
Brown has some interesting circumstances with his recruitment, and Alabama has been on both sides of the fence in each regard. Brown's father's health has deteriorated over the last year, and it remains unknown how that will effect his decision. His mother has been said to want her children to attend the same school, another gateway to the notion that LSU may lead for his services. However, Mrs. Brown was in Tuscaloosa with the five-star last month, so plenty remains to be seen. Either way, the recruiting world will know sooner than later, as Brown is scheduled to enroll at his school of choice next month after early graduation. He has no timetable for a public commitment.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder's coach recently told Scout that while a leader hasn't been named, he woulnd't be surprised if it was Texas A&M, LSU, Alabama or even another school on his long list.
Then there is Marlon Humphrey. The Alabama legacy and top prospect within the state has frequently been linked to Tuscaloosa since becoming a major prospect more than two years ago. A desire to run track and familiarity with the program's coaches and players has the Hoover (Ala.) standout seriously considering Florida State, and Mississippi State has remained in the final three throughout his recruitment.
Humphrey told Scout on Monday that Alabama visited him twice within the last week, but it hasn't changed anything of his plan. He has no leader, no visits set or even a commitment date. It is not likely he will decide in early January without taking any official visits, so it is expected to be closer to national signing day in early February.
Alabama hosted the five-star for at least three games this fall, while Florida State and Mississippi State each had him on campus one time.
The No. 3 program in the country has a shot at all three of the aforementioned players, with two of the three signing with the school a very likely scenario.
Other names to watch
* Five-star ATH Michiah Quick, who took an official to Alabama last month.
* Four-star CB Marshon Lattimore, who took an official to Alabama last month.
* Four-star ATH Nathan Starks, who has Alabama among seven finalists down the stretch.