Wanted: Blue-chip D-Linemen

You can never have enough defensive linemen--especially great ones. Bama's DL has continued to play well this season, but more talented athletes will be needed. <br><br>The Tide is pursuing some blue-chippers at the position for its 2004 class.

Defensive Linemen, expected to sign: 4-5

Replacing Kenny King, Jarret Johnson, and Kindal Moorehead, all of whom are now plying their trade in the NFL, has been tough. But the solid play of Anthony Bryant and Ahmad Childress, and the development of Jeremy Clark have combined to soften the blow.

Lorenzo Washington attended Bama's summer mini-camp.

This past summer Bama's last-minute steal of Wallace Gilberry and its good fortune of having an athlete the caliber of Justin Johnson decide to walk on have also lightened the load.

At this point the Tide's most pressing needs will be filling the vacancies that will be created by graduating defensive ends Nautyn McKay-Loescher and Leslie Williams. However, the apparent likelihood that Antwan Odom will enter the NFL Draft early cannot be ignored. Fortunately, Todd Bates will be eligible again in 2004, which will help secure the position.

At defensive tackle it's also possible that both Childress and Bryant will take a look at the draft. Bryant is currently listed as a senior, but he's on track to graduate this summer and earn back his fourth season of college eligibility. Current true freshman Dominic Lee remains a strong possibility to play this season, which would gain him needed experience in game situations.

The Tide coaches are looking to sign as many as five defensive linemen in the 2004 class and certainly four.

Here are the players that have made the cut thus far:

  • Demonte Bolden 6-5 315 4.90 Chattanooga, TN – Tyner HS
  • Justin Britt 6-4 255 4.80 Cullman, AL – Cullman HS
  • David Brown 6-3 260 4.87 Madison, AL - Bob Jones HS
  • Titus Brown 6-2 205 4.66 Tuscaloosa, AL – Hillcrest HS
  • Marcus Campbell 6-3 300 4.90 Fresno, CA - Reedley C. C.
  • Brandon Fanney 6-5 260 4.70 Morristown, TN - Morristown West HS
  • Jerami Holifield 6-5 250 4.60 Birmingham, AL – Hoover HS
  • Brandon Long 6-5 220 4.50 Tucker, GA – Tucker HS
  • Eric McClendon 6-5 283 4.94 Vidalia, GA – Vidalia HS
  • Allen McKinstry 6-3 291 5.16 Aliceville, AL – Aliceville HS
  • Jacquez McKissic 6-7 250 4.96 Opelika, AL – Opelika HS
  • Corey Mills 6-5 260 4.80 Memphis, TN - Christian Brothers HS
  • Frank Morton 6-4 280 4.90 Decatur, GA - Southwest Dekalb HS
  • Antonio Searcy 6-3 315 4.90 Dodge City, KS - Dodge City C. C. Greg Smith 6-3 285 5.00 Chattanooga, TN – Tyner HS
  • Michael Tate 6-4 241 4.60 Tulsa, OK - Washington
  • Lorenzo Washington 6-5 275 4.70 Loganville, GA – Grayson HS
  • Narada Williams 6-4 200 4.63 Douglasville, GA - Douglass County HS

David Brown

It's still very early, but through our faraway September looking glass, we fearlessly/foolishly predict:


Corey Mills would be a strong possibility if he chooses to commit.

Marcus Campbell and Antonio Searcey are JUCO's who could factor into the mix very quickly.

Eric McClendon, Frank Morton and Michael Tate are long shots but are showing interest.

Before the carping begins, we know that we have six players listed. Demonte Bolden of course is currently saying he's committed to Tennessee (though still looking around). But based on talks we've had with various sources Alabama is heavily in his picture.

Demonte Bolden

Plus, Jerami Holifield has some academic work to do and may have to be placed. He is too good not to sign, regardless.

PLEASE NOTE: In these segments we will attempt to examine this year's Tide recruiting picture position-by-position. But please keep in mind that this is only an assessment of players that our research indicates are being pursued by Alabama or that we believe will enter the picture before next February's Signing Day.

This is not presented as a photo copy of anyone's recruiting board. There undoubtedly will be names left off our lists and athletes added later.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from TheInsiders.com.

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