Recruiting Diary, 1-07

With tight end Travis McCall set to announce his commitment today and offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell tomorrow, this is shaping up to be another big recruiting weekend for the Tide.

Travis McCall's mother and father were quoted Tuesday night saying he would select Alabama during a ceremony at Prattville High School today. Antoine Caldwell (and his parents) have so far kept his secret, but strong rumors continue that the guard/center prospect will also choose the Tide.

Travis McCall looks for someone to block.

At one time in the recruiting process both athletes were probably leaning to Auburn--certainly Caldwell was. But Tide assistant Paul Randolph has done a masterful job recruiting the two to Alabama. Both players have praised his efforts, commenting that he never once said anything negative about another school. Instead Randolph concentrated on selling the positives of playing for the Crimson Tide.

McCall's commitment basically gives Alabama a clean sweep of the state's top tight ends. Pike County's Nick Walker and T.R. Miller's Trent Davidson previously committed to sign with the Tide. Walker and Davidson will both start at tight end. For his part, McCall projects at any of four positions: tight end, fullback, linebacker and defensive end. He's said he genuinely doesn't care where he plays, that he only wants to help the team.

Caldwell has scheduled a press conference for Thursday at Lee High School in Montgomery. If he commits to Alabama, then it will add one more excellent athlete to an already excellent O-Line class. Cullman's Justin Smiley, Clarke County's B.J. Stabler, Hillcrest's Cody Davis and Sparta Academy's Drew Davis have already pledged to sign with the Tide.

Alabama desperately needed to sign a stellar group of offensive linemen, and it looks like that is precisely what will end up happening. Luverne's Chester Adams also remains a possibility.

Alabama's coaches have been out of town during the first of the week at the NCAA Coaches' Convention, but everyone is slated to return this afternoon, coinciding with the end of the recruiting "dead period."

Antoine Caldwell announces Thursday.

The Bama coaches will host their second major official visit weekend this weekend. At this point five names are on the list to visit the Alabama campus, including Lorenzo Washington, Chevis Jackson, Drew Davis, Brandon Fanney, Larry Kendrick and Kevin Hamilton. However, that list has not been confirmed. Names will almost certainly be added and subtracted. For example, it's not clear that Chevis Jackson, who is committed to LSU, will make the trip.

As the Tide's class fills up, the pressure on those still undecided will go up. That means that all slots could very well be full long before National Signing Day on February 4.

Who's Hot? Among 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 to watch this week. NOTE: some names make the list because we think they could commit soon.

  1. Antoine Caldwell, OL, lineman with excellent upside will announce Thursday
  2. Markus Manson, TB, "soft verbal" to Florida will be tested
  3. Lorenzo Washington, DL, early playing time says Bama, but...
  4. Marcus Carter, S/CB, visited AU's bowl practices, but still leaning to Bama?
  5. Brandon Fanney, DE, solid D-End prospect visiting this weekend, grades?
  6. Chester Adams, OL/DL, the Bama bus is filling up fast
  7. Larry Kendrick, WR/DB, wants to take visits, can Bama wait on blue-chipper?
  8. K.T. Mainord, DL, big enough for end or tackle, says grades are okay
  9. Walter Fisher, DE/TE, says Bama is his leader, but can he qualify?
  10. Keith Brown, WR, speedy receiver could provide qualifying insurance for Bama

Lorenzo Washington takes his official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend.

Alabama currently has 20 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,
Sparta Academy offensive lineman Drew 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,
Prattville tight end/athlete Travis McCall,
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)
Lorenzo WashingtonDTGrayson (Loganville, GA)
Travis McCallTEPrattville, AL
Antoine CaldwellOLRobert E. Lee (Montgomery, AL)
Marcus CarterDBFt. Payne, AL
Terrance SmithLBNW Mississippi
Markus MansonRBHillcrest (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Chester AdamsOLLuvern, AL
Brandon FanneyDLMorristown, TN
K.T. MainordDLGrundy County (Coalmont, TN)
Steve GandyLBWayne County (Waynesboro, MS)

Today's Recruiting Hot News

TETravis McCallAnother Big Tide Commitment
OLChester AdamsBig Lineman Sets Four Official Visits
DEWalter FisherTennessee DL Names Leader
LBSteve GandyWide Open as Visits Approach
LBKris Guyton4 Visits Set, with 2 Favorites

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TETravis McCall (Prattville HS)6-2/235/4.75 

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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 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.

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