Blue-chip DT to visit Bama

When it comes to official visits, there almost always is some late-developing excitement, in terms of who does and does not make the trip. <br><br>This week's interesting news is the report that blue-chip defensive tackle prospect Demonte Bolden will take an official visit to Alabama.

A physical specimen that runs well for a player half his size, Bolden had 140 tackles, 14 sacks and 28 tackles for loss from his defensive end position this past season.

Publicly committed to Tennessee, Demonte Bolden (6-4, 295, 4.9) had been quoted earlier as saying "I'm done" with the recruiting process. But today's development indicates otherwise.

"Besides Tennessee, I want to take a look at at least two other schools," Bolden said. The blue-chip defensive tackle went on to say that Auburn would probably get his third official visit.

With both Antwan Odom and Ahmad Childress leaving school early for a shot at the pro draft, Alabama desperately needs to sign defensive linemen, especially athletes capable of playing on the inside. Bolden, of course, would fill that bill quite nicely.

Tennessee's coaches clearly have been putting a lot of pressure on the Chattanooga native, both directly and indirectly, to stay at home and not take any other official visits. But Bolden has decided otherwise.

"I don't care what (the Tennessee coaches) think," is how he put it. "(In the past) they've told me to go and have a good time."

Rated a five-star prospect by, Bolden is seen by many recruiting pundits as that rare athlete capable of contributing immediately.

Bolden, shown at the NIKE football camp last summer, will be a surprise visitor to Alabama this weekend.

"I don't want to sell myself short," Bolden said. "I feel like I owe it to myself to look at all three schools before I make my decision."

Way back in the summer the Vol coaches pushed for and got Bolden's public commitment at one of their summer camps. Almost immediately he and his coach at Tyner High School backed off somewhat on that pledge. But despite reports that at one time or another he actually preferred both Georgia and Alabama to Tennessee, Bolden never publicly took back his pledge to the Volunteers.

"I want to look at all the campuses and programs on equal grounds," Bolden said of his upcoming official visits.

Bolden choosing Alabama should probably still be seen as a longshot. Certainly the Vols will not let him leave the state without a mammoth fight. But news of his official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend is "interesting."

NOTE: Bolden still must qualify academically.

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.

Read all of the recent recruiting stories on Alabama recruits from

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