RECRUITING UPDATE 9/21: News and Notes

Recruiting is beginning to move forward with the start of the calling period which began on September 1st. Additionally, the Alabama coaching staff hit the road last Friday to observe prospects in live games. There are several notes of interest including a few out-of-state prospects with plans to visit Tuscaloosa for the game tomorrow.

Quarterback Brandon Avalos, a 6-foot-1.5, 175-pounder from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has already committed and he is highly thought of by the Alabama coaching staff. Still, a staff must continue to recruit more great prospects at every position and quarterback is no different. At least three nationally rated quarterbacks have mentioned Alabama in interviews conducted by Gavin Dickey, Matt Gutierrez, and Reggie McNeal all made TheInsiders/CNN/SI Top 101 Prospects list.

Dickey (pictured at right), a 6-foot, 188-pounder from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida, plans to visit Tuscaloosa tomorrow as an unofficial visitor for the Alabama/Arkansas game. Dickey is one of the nation's top running quarterbacks and his ability to make plays outside of the pocket sets him apart from other signal callers across the country. He was selected to participate in the Student Sports Elite 11 Camp and he performed well among the nation's top quarterbacks. Elite 11 Quarterback Coach Bob Johnson made the following comments about Dickey:

"Gavin is a very interesting prospect. He has great speed and footwork and has the arm to make all the throws. He also has a dynamic personality and other players gravitate toward him. His height might scare some schools away, but he'll flourish if he gets in the right system."

Gutierrez (pictured at left), a 6-foot-4, 204-pounder from DeLaSalle High School in Concord, California, was also selected for the Elite 11 Camp. He appears to be a longshot at best to even visit Alabama but he has consistently mentioned Alabama in his top ten college choices. He currently leads the nation's top high school team, De La Salle and its 114-game winning streak, and has started every game since his sophomore year. Elite 11 Quarterback Coach Bob Johnson made the following comments about Gutierrez:

"I love Matt's athletic ability and leadership skills. He's a very knowledgeable player and he's a winner. What more can you say about a quarterback? His arm is strong, which is surprising since his wrist still isn't 100% and he pushes the ball. If he can get that release worked out, the sky's the limit."

McNeal (pictured at right), a 6-foot-1, 191-pounder from Lufkin, Texas, is among the fastest prospects in the prep ranks at any position. In fact, he was timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.32 seconds while attending the Texas A&M football camp this past summer. McNeal also competes on the track team in the 100-meters (10.3 seconds) and 200-meters (21.1 seconds). He has given a verbal commitment to the Texas A&M Aggies but does mention Alabama as a consideration if his status changes. The Aggies recently received a commitment from one of the top junior quarterbacks in the state of Texas and it remains to be seen if the commitment will impact McNeal's decision. McNeal made the following comments in a recent interview:

"I am committed to Texas A&M but I may visit one or two schools. I saw Alabama play UCLA and I like how they use the quarterback in their offense. I'm not sure yet if I will visit anywhere else but Alabama, Miami, LSU, and Oklahoma will be the most likely if I do."

In other recruiting news, Dickey is not expected to be alone on his trip to Tuscaloosa. Greg Threatt, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back, is also hoped to be among the unofficial visitors at the game tomorrow. Pat Watkins, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound linebacker, could make it a trio from Lincoln High School if he decides to postpone a standardized test scheduled for tomorrow.

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