Recruiting Diary, 01/05

A full month remains until National Signing Day, but Bama's 2004 recruiting class is filling up fast. Saturday's announcement by Simeon Castille that he planned to sign with the Tide means few seats remain to be filled.

Considered by most recruiting pundits to be the top combo-DB prospect in the state, Simeon Castille made his announcement on national television Saturday. Competing in the U.S. Army All-American Game, Castille told an NBC audience that he was signing with Alabama with the intent of returning the program to glory.

Castille provided Bama with some positive national pub.

Surrounded by scores of family members and with his former Bama All-America father Jeremiah by his side, Simeon Castille was obviously swayed by family in his decision.

Castille could play either safety or cornerback, but he says cover corner is his best spot. Together with previous Tide commits Travis Robinson and Aaron McDaniel (who could project on offense), Castille could close out Bama's DB class. But if Fort Payne safety Marcus Carter decides to switch his commitment from Auburn to the Tide, space would probably be made.

Montgomery offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell is set to announce his decision this week at a press conference at this school. At one time Auburn was Caldwell's strong leader, but Tide assistant Paul Randolph has done an outstanding job recruiting Caldwell, and it's believed he will announce for Bama. If Caldwell commits, then Bama's offensive line group may be full. However, offensive guard/defensive tackle Chester Adams of Luverne would probably be a "take" as well, especially given his ability to play either offense or defense.

Prattville tight end Travis McCall has also been sending out strong signals that he may be ready to commit publicly. There are rumors that he's already told the Tide coaches he's coming, but that's only speculation until McCall himself makes it official. A versatile athlete, McCall could project at any of several positions in college, including fullback, linebacker or defensive end.

Travis McCall may be ready to pull the trigger.

Sparta lineman Drew Davis may also be close to committing. The offensive line prospect is set for an official visit to Alabama this weekend, and he may or may not be prepared to make his decision official.

Hillcrest High School tailback Markus Manson remains publicly committed to Florida, but it's probable that the Tide coaches will try to make a strong push soon. Several sources close to Manson say he'll switch his pledge to hometown Bama, but again, it's all speculation until something actually happens. With precious few spots remaining in Bama's signing class, it's possible the Tide coaches will ask him to either make a decision soon or they'll move on.

Brandon Fanney, a defensive end prospect out of Tennessee is set to take an official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend. Depending on his academic situation, he may or may not be asked to make a decision soon. Lorenzo Washington from Georgia is another defensive lineman scheduled to visit this weekend, but he's not expected to make a decision until after his official visit to Georgia.

Auburn appears to be pulling out all the stops with Marcus Carter.

Fort Payne safety Marcus Carter had been leaning toward switching his commitment from Auburn to the Tide, but recent events may have interfered. Carter attended the recent Music City Bowl in Nashville apparently as a "guest" of an AU family from Fort Payne. Staying for several days, he attended Auburn practices where he was given the royal treatment by the Tiger coaches. Essentially shut out of in-state recruiting so far, Auburn's coaches would dearly love to reel in Carter and put a dent in Bama's recruiting momentum.

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. Travis McCall, TE/Ath, will McCall follow his Prattville teammates' lead and pull the trigger for Bama?
  2. Antoine Caldwell, OL, lineman with excellent upside says he'll commit this week
  3. Markus Manson, TB, Tide coaches may be ready to turn up the heat
  4. Drew Davis, OL, he wants to come, but if Davis does he'll have to grayshirt
  5. Lorenzo Washington, DL, comparative depth charts say Bama over the Dawgs, but...
  6. Marcus Carter, S/CB, either Tide or Tiger fans will be upset when this one's finished
  7. Brandon Fanney, DE, may be Bama's best bet at defensive end in regard to talent and grades
  8. Chester Adams, OL/DL, O-Line class may fill up, but Chester can play defense, too
  9. Larry Kendrick, WR/DB, wants to take visits, can Bama wait on blue-chipper?
  10. K.T. Mainord, DL, fits Tide's preferred mold of leaner, meaner DLs

Alabama currently has 18 public commitments, including:

Cullman two-way lineman Justin Britt,
Briarwood Christian cornerback Simeon Castille,
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.

Top Players Available

Brandon MillerDEMiller County (Colquitt, GA)
Simeon CastilleDBBriarwood Christian HS (Birmingham, AL)
Lorenzo WashingtonDTGrayson (Loganville, GA)
Travis McCallTEPrattville, AL
Antoine CaldwellOLRobert E. Lee (Montgomery, AL)
Terrance SmithLBNW Mississippi
Marcus CarterDBFt. Payne, AL
Travis McCallTEThompson (Alabaster, AL)
Markus MansonRBHillcrest (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Brandon FanneyDLMorristown, TN
K.T. MainordDLGrundy County (Coalmont, TN)
Steve GandyLBWayne County (Waynesboro, MS)

Today's Recruiting Hot News

DTFred BledsoeDL has three visits left
DEMarc WinstonTE loves Nutt's stay at Arkansas
LBDustin LindseyVisit schedule set
WRAnthony BrownStill a Razorback commit
WRKeith BrownRising WR Has 5 Big Officials Set

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SSimeon Castille (Briarwood Christian HS)6-1/187/4.50 

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  • 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.

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