Recruiting Diary: Christmas week

With football recruiting entering a mandated "dead period," not much activity was expected this week. But the Crimson Tide is definitely on a roll, racking no less than four commitments since last Friday.

Hoover High School hasn't always been good to Alabama in recruiting, but the past few days certainly put an end to that worry. No less than three big-time prospects pledged to sign with the Tide off the 6A state championship squad.

Defender Curtis Dawson promises to be a cornerstone of this year's signing class.

Middle Linebacker/Defensive Tackle Curtis Dawson led the way. Last Friday he took an unofficial visit to the Alabama campus, taking the opportunity to commit to the Tide coaches. Dawson was a dominating defender this past season, patrolling from sideline to sideline from his middle linebacker position. Most pundits believe he'll end up with a h and in the dirt at defensive tackle, but Dawson says he'll definitely start off playing linebacker. Dawson must finish up with a solid performance in the classroom, but he's expected to qualify.

Defensive End Jeramie Holifield actually made up his mind last Thursday, but the pass-rush specialist didn't make his decision known publicly until Monday. He's been compared to Bama's Antwan Odom in terms of long-term potential. Holifield is tall with broad shoulders, indicating he can carry more weight. But his best attribute is speed. Holifield is determined to make up ground and end up a full qualifier, but most pundits expect that he'll either begin at a prep school or in junior college.

Alabama's 6A Back of the Year, John Parker Wilson, finished off the Tide's Hoover trifecta, committing to sign with his favorite school Monday afternoon. A prolific passer who set the single-season mark for yards passing this year, Wilson is so far the only quarterback to commit to Bama. He's also an excellent baseball player, which delayed his commitment for a time. Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula was reluctant to sign a two-sport athlete, but after talking at length with Wilson last week during an in-home visit, the two agreed that Wilson could play baseball at Alabama, so long as he puts football first. Wilson is an excellent student, who will qualify easily.

Monday evening, junior-college lineman Chris Turner finished off a remarkable run of commitments for Alabama. One of the top JUCO defensive linemen in the country, Turner informed the Tide coaches that he would sign in February and join the squad this summer. Turner was one of the top players in Florida as a prep senior. All three major in-state schools (Miami, Florida and Florida State) battled for his signature, with the Seminoles finally winning out. But with a prime opportunity for immediate playing time obviously available at Alabama next year, Turner cast his lot with the Tide.

Can Travis McCall risk the wait?

As we said earlier, ordinarily Christmas week is NOT the time for much action on the recruiting front. But this year Alabama has a limited number of scholarships, and the recent developments could prompt others to jump on board before the ship is full.

Players like Trent McCall, Antoine Caldwell, Drew Davis, Keith Brown, Kevin Hamilton and Marcus Carter could very well decide to end the process and commit soon.

Or, on the other hand, things could settle down with little or no developments until after the bowl season.

We'll see...

Top Ten (unofficial) Recruits Still on the Board

Based on our off-the-top-of-our-head gut feeling (how's that for a mixed metaphor?), we'll be ranking the Top 10 Alabama prospects still on the board.

  1. Lorenzo Washington
  2. Chester Adams
  3. Simeon Castille
  4. Larry Kendrick
  5. Brandon Miller
  6. Markus Manson
  7. Marcus Carter
  8. Brandon Fanney
  9. Steve Gandy
  10. Kevin Hamilton

Latest on Crimson Tide Prospects

HOT NEWS

Alabama commitments:

2004 Projected Signees

Alabama currently has 16 public commitments, including:

Cullman two-way lineman Justin Britt,
T.R. Miller tight end Trent Davidson,
Hillcrest High School offensive tackle Cody Davis,
Hoover middle linebacker/defensive lineman Curtis Dawson,
Hoover defensive end Jeramie Holifield,
Thomasville defensive back Aaron Johns,
Randolph County wide receiver Ezekiel Knight,
Fort Payne wide receiver Aaron McDaniel,
Jacksonville, Fla. wide receiver Will Oakley,
Hillcrest cornerback Travis Robinson,
East Central (Miss.) Community College running back Titus Ryan (who is not expected to be eligible),
Clarke County offensive tackle B.J. Stabler,
Hartselle wide receiver Nikita Stover, Northwest Mississippi CC defensive end/defensive tackle Chris Turner,
Pike County tight end Nick Walker, and
Hoover quarterback John Parker Wilson.

Most Recent BamaMag.com Recruiting Features

Counting down the state's Top Recruits.

Good news for next year's O-Line. Dawson & David Brown to walk on.

Prototype Defensive End, Jeramie Holifield commits to Bama!

Record-breaking Quarterback, John Parker Wilson will sign with Tide.

"This is my home." Curtis Dawson explains why he chose Alabama.

Official Visit Lists:

Crimson Tide Official Visits

BamaMag.com Insiders Message Board

Go here for answers from BamaMag.com personnel. You provide the questions, we'll try and come up with at least responses--if not answers.

Crimson Tide's Latest Commitment:

Chris Turner, Defensive tackle/Defensive end (6-3 ½, 287, 4.8)

Other Regional Recruiting Stories of Interest

Georgia defensive lineman Brandon Miller, Five-Star Athlete Back from Tech

Kentucky O-Lineman Micah Jones, Cats Get Big Man

South Carolina O-Lineman Cory Lambert, Clemson Bags Lineman

Tailback Markus Manson, Is Manson Still Committed?

TheInsiders.com's Top 25, ranking the best recruiting classes in the nation--so far.

SuperPrep.com National Recruiting Board

Go there to talk about national recruiting with the experts.


RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 22 players in February, anticipating that several will not become qualified. It's also possible that one or more players may be asked to delay entry into The University until the following January, counting against 2005 scholarship numbers, depending on how qualifying issues play out.

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


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