Gandy set to take four visits

Fleet linebacker prospect Steve Gandy remains on Bama's radar screen. But with the Tide's signing class filling up fast, it will be interesting to see how long Alabama is able to wait on his decision.

Publicly Gandy (6-1, 187, 4.4) is still keeping his cards close to his vest. In an interview yesterday with Andrew Bone of TheInsiders.com, Gandy said. "No, I really haven't decided yet. I probably will decide around the 1st of February."

Of course as every recruiting junkie knows, National Signing Day is February 4. Gandy is set to take official visits to Auburn this weekend, followed by Alabama on the 16th, Ole Miss on the 23rd, and Tennessee last.

"I really don't have a leader," Gandy said Monday. "I have visited Arizona State and really do not know much about the other schools."

A native of Waynesboro, Mississippi (a small town due south of Meridian and northeast of Hattiesburg, just across the Alabama border), Steve Gandy could end up at either strong safety or outside linebacker in college. In the mold of a Brooks Daniels, Gandy's biggest asset is speed.

And of course Bama fans would dearly love to renew the Tide's former habit of cherry-picking some of the best athletes in Mississippi each year.

Living less than a half hour away from the Southern Miss campus, it's not surprising that Gandy found his way to Memphis to watch their Liberty Bowl match-up against Utah. Gandy has never listed the Golden Eagles as serious contenders for his signature, but he enjoyed the game.

"It was real exciting," Gandy said of USM's 17-0 loss. "Southern Miss had a good offense and defense."

Not the most flattering photo that Gandy has ever taken.

If the Tide has a definite strength returning for next year's team, it's probably linebacker. That, plus the fact that Bama is hurting in other areas, means the Tide coaches haven't pursued that many linebackers in this year's recruiting class. But Gandy's combination of athleticism and solid academics has so far been too good to pass up.

Gandy's plans are to take all his visits and decide just before Signing Day. It'll be interesting to see if Alabama is able to wait that long.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama already has 19 public commitments (20 if you count Titus Ryan), with Antoine Caldwell very likely to make a decision this week.

Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 24 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.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Andrew Bone of TheInsiders.com contributed to this report.

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


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