Many of the top prospects in the state of Alabama have campaigned for Crimson Tide offers with camp performances every summer under Nick Saban and it often is the foundation of getting the staffs attention. Underclassmen get noticed and updated feedback on their efforts towards what many kids in the Yellowhammer State dream of -- landing an extension from the champion program.
Munford (Ala.) High's Tacorrie Russell is one of the most versatile rising-juniors in the state. He plays wide receiver, tight end, defensive end and even some linebacker for Bill Smith's program. He has racked up early scholarship offers from Iowa State, Jacksonville State and Mercer but SEC programs have been tracking him more and more. He worked as an outside linebacker at Georgia's camp earlier this month and worked as a defensive end in Tuscaloosa Saturday.
"It was nice, I had a great time competing, I was with the 'Bama squad," he said. "They showed a lot of interest, they told me they liked my film and that they would be recruiting me hard. I've learned a lot of different pass-rushing moves I've learned outside linebacker stuff like coverage.
"I'll probably be going back in a week or two to work tight end, I've got something to prove."
Russell, who admits he's most comfortable on offense at this time, is open to playing any position at the next level.
In the southern part of the state, few defensive lineman are hotter than Theodore (Ala.) High's Timaje Porter, who has reeled in SEC offers from Auburn and Florida since the year began. He worked on the defensive interior (photo below) Saturday.
"It went well today, I won a good bit of my reps and I like the D-line coach," Porter said of Karl Dunbar. "His enthusiasm and what he brings, teaching-wise, was a big plus for me.
"Hips! Gotta flip the hips, that was stressed all camp. The competition was good, some guys were really good an some were decent."
The 320-pounder admits things didn't start ideally in front of the Crimson Tide staff but it progressed he rest of the day.
"Run-stop drills, I did great on those," he said. "First part of one-on-one was a little shaky, I lost a few, pass-rush drills I did pretty good and second session one-on-ones I only lost one time."
Closer to the Volunteer State border in the northern part of the state, Killen (Ala.) Brooks offensive lineman Kameron Stutts is quickly becoming a name to know and spending time with Saban while in town for a workout is the latest indication after offers from Iowa State, Jacksonville State and Dartmouth have come in.
"I talked to Saban and he said he was interested in me and was going to be recruiting me," he said. "I got some good reps in. I mean I did good in the drills and stuff but mainly one-on-ones. I had a couple flat-backs and such. [Offensive line] Coach [Brent] Key said he really likes me and was impressed with what I did today.
"Alabama has a pretty rough but fun camp but I felt good about the camp, did good and got a lot of reps in one-on-one."
Should the national champs join the offer list, it could validate a lot of the emerger's progress.
"An offer would mean a lot, that's one of the best football programs in the country and it would be awesome for all of my hard work to play off and get an offer like that," he said.
Stutts also recently competed in Knoxville, the SEC school closest to home.
"Tennessee and Alabama have both shown interest," he said. "I went to Tennessee camp last week and I got to talk to the head coach [Butch Jones]."