Castille will play for a talented East squad, which also includes four other athletes that at one time or another Alabama recruited heavily. Kentucky quarterback Brian Brohm is still undecided; Tennessee defensive tackle Demonte Bolden remains committed to the Vols, though he's expected to start his career in junior college; Florida safety Kyle Jackson took an official visit to Tuscaloosa before committing to the Gators; and Alabama running back Max Martin still holds firm to his early commitment to Michigan.
Simeon Castille (6-1, 187, 4.5) of course is the son of former Tide great Jeremiah Castille (‘79-'82) and younger brother of current Bama running back Tim Castille. Because of that background, many fans--including not a few college coaches--have simply assumed that he would end up committing to Alabama.
But for some time now, Castille has gone out of his way to insist that he is seriously considering other schools. At one point Simeon was quoted as saying that conference champion LSU held an edge in the battle for his signature. Since that time he's backed off somewhat, saying that he had no clear leader.
But again, in private many that know the Castille family say they believe he'll end up at Alabama.
One way or another, Castille says he'll end the speculation at the all-star game this weekend.
"Yes, I will make the announcement at the game on Saturday," Castille told TheInsider.com's Andrew Bone in an interview yesterday.
And just to ensure that the suspense stays as high as possible, Castille added, "Yes, (Alabama and LSU) are both still even."
Castille is rated a three-star prospect by TheInsiders.com, meaning he is projected to start at least three years of his college career. No less an authority than former Tide defensive coordinator Bill Oliver has compared Simeon's talents at cornerback to his legendary father. In fact, son Simeon stands at least an inch and a half taller than father Jeremiah, who also enjoyed a productive NFL career.
Since Simeon Castille spent most of this past season at safety, many fans mistakenly assume he'll play there in college. Certainly he has the size to handle the position, but knowledgeable sources (including Simeon) say he's a cornerback all the way.
Castille also helped lead Briarwood High School to the state championship by starring on offense, playing both tailback and wide receiver. He's said he would like a chance to play both ways in college as well.
Alabama will probably sign between two and three defensive backs in this year's class. Hillcrest High School's Travis Robinson (5-10, 180, 4.3), who is a cornerback specialist, remains solidly committed to the Tide. Fort Payne's Marcus Carter (6-1, 190, 4.46) could play any secondary position, but he prefers safety. Carter is still publicly committed to Auburn, though it's clear that he's seriously considering Alabama as well.
The Tide has been mentioned with several other possible defensive back recruits, most notably Kyle Jackson and Chris Nickson, who starred at quarterback in high school but was recruited by the current Tide staff as a DB. Jackson has chosen Florida, and at this point Nickson no longer appears to be a possibility for Alabama.
The athletes participating in the U.S. Army All American Bowl have been in San Antonio since December 28, practicing for Saturday's game.
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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Andrew Bone of TheInsiders.com contributed to this report.