Tide needs placekickers, too

As Alabama fans have come to realize, attracting talented placekickers can be one of the most important aspects of recruiting. Oak Mountain's Nick Thomas likes the Tide.

As much as any position in football, scouting and properly evaluating placekickers is difficult. But many observers claim Nick Thomas (5-10, 185, 4.70) is the state's top kicker this year.

Thomas kicks off a tee, which is always a red flag for recruiters. But his tee is less than one inch tall in games. During practices Thomas kicks off the ground.

In talking with BamaMag.com, Thomas says he will have no problem adjusting to kicking off the ground all the time in college.

Thomas was 5-of-8 on field goals as a junior with a long of 50 yards. That season he was 20-of-21 on extra point attempts. Through three games of his senior year, he is 3-of-5 on field goals with a long of 42 yards.

Thomas' high school coach claims he has split the uprights from 55 yards during practice.

An important point for Tide fans, the Birmingham native supposedly consistently puts the ball into the endzone on kickoffs. Thomas claims 90 percent success in that regard, and says he will get better as he gains strength.

The Birmingham native projects as a full qualifier.

Thomas is getting attention from Alabama, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Tennessee, Nebraska, Southern Miss, and Mississippi State.

RECRUITING NOTE: Thomas attended the Alabama/Kentucky game as an unofficial visitor, and he is being watched by the Tide coaches.

With Bama's limit of only 19 scholarships this year, it's unlikely that one will be used on a kicker. It's probable that a placekicker will be asked to walk-on, with the promise of a scholarship if he earns the job.

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

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