News Years week, Recruiting Diary

Bowl games don't end until next week, which will coincide with the lifting of the recruiting "dead period." But despite the strictures against coaches contacting prospects, Alabama picked up another impressive D-Line commitment.

Contacting the Tide coaches on his own, Prattville defensive lineman Kevin Hamilton passed along the good news that he intends to sign with Alabama in February.

Considered by most recruiting pundits to be among the Top 5 line prospects in the state, Hamilton played most of the season at defensive tackle. But his relatively long frame reminds some of a defensive end. For his part, Hamilton is willing to play wherever needed.

Unfortunately, the Prattville prospect faces an uphill battle to qualify, which might render the worry over his initial position moot. After two years in a junior college, nature and the weight room will likely have settled the question.

Even if Hamilton does not become qualified, the Tide coaches would like to sign and then place him in a junior college (probably in Mississippi), with the intent of resigning him in two years.

Hamilton is tall, lean, fast and plays with a mean streak.

Normally very little (if any) news transpires during "dead week," but Bama's unique circumstances are having an effect. With only 19 slots available in the fall and 17 players already committed, the pressure is on any remaining recruits that would like to be a part of the class. Those numbers are of course misleading, since Tide commit Titus Ryan will almost certainly not qualify and Hamilton and a few other Tide commitments very well might not either.

At this point, the Tide probably has four to six slots still available.

Again, that number probably doesn't tell the full tale, since Alabama will almost certainly sign two or three players this February, anticipating that they will not actually enroll at The Capstone until January of 2005, counting against the '05 numbers.

Look for at least one more offensive lineman (probably two, counting a grayshirt) to jump on board soon. Most of that attention focuses on Antoine Caldwell, Drew Davis and Chester Adams, probably in that order.

Bama would like to sign at least two more qualified defensive linemen. Lorenzo Washington would be a huge "get," and Brandon Miller, another Georgia blue-chipper, remains an intriguing possibility. But with space severely limited, the Crimson Tide simply doesn't have as much latitude to play the recruiting game as it would in other years. Given that hard reality, the old "bird in the hand" truism may end up finishing out the 2004 class well before National Signing Day--and before undecided "big dogs" like Miller are ready to "walk."

Private commitments? Yes, there are still a couple out there. But Bama fans should remember to take that for what it's worth. At one point not too long ago David Brown was considered a private Tide commitment by many pundits.

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?), here's our weekly ranking the Top 10 Alabama prospects still on the board. NOTE: some names make the list because we think they could commit soon.

  1. Antoine Caldwell, OL, lineman with excellent upside says he'll announce next week
  2. Travis McCall, TE/Ath, will McCall follow his Prattville teammate's lead and pull the trigger for Bama?
  3. Drew Davis, OL, he wants to come, but if Davis does he'll have to grayshirt
  4. Lorenzo Washington, if he chooses early playing time, then it'll be Bama over UGA
  5. Brandon Miller, Blue-chipper still seriously considering Tide
  6. Simeon Castille, talks LSU in public but family ties and early PT say "Bama"
  7. Markus Manson, Tide coaches are treating this one with kid gloves
  8. Marcus Carter, either Tide or Tiger fans will be upset when this tug-of-war is finished
  9. Larry Kendrick, wants to take visits, can Bama wait on blue-chipper?
  10. Brandon Fanney, may be Bama's best bet at defensive end in regard to talent and grades

Latest on Crimson Tide Prospects

HOT NEWS

Alabama commitments:

2004 Projected Signees

Montgomery O-Line prospect Antoine Caldwell has scheduled a press conference next week to announce his school. He's expected to choose between Alabama and AU.

Alabama currently has 17 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,
Prattville defensive lineman Kevin Hamilton,
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

Meet the Georgia South prep All-Star squad.

Christmas week's Recruiting Diary.

Junior college defensive lineman, Chris Turner, should step in and help Bama immediately.

Counting down the state's Top Recruits.

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

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 responses--if not answers.

Crimson Tide's Latest Commitment:

Kevin Hamilton, Defensive tackle/Defensive end (6-3, 255, 4.88)

Other Regional Recruiting Stories of Interest

Athletic linebacker, Antonio Reynolds, commits to Vols.

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

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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