D-Line still a priority

Twenty-four commitments and only 19 available slots have many fans wondering where the Alabama coaches are going to put them all. But believe it or not the Tide is still looking to sign at least two more defensive linemen--maybe three. <br><br>And that's not counting any potential "sign and places."

Trying to keep Tide's Top Dog from becoming a Dawg

It's hardly a secret that Alabama would love to close with Lorenzo Washington and one more qualified, blue-chip D-Lineman and be happy. Washington, who clearly enjoyed his official visit to Alabama last weekend, remains the prime target.

Lorenzo Washington likes Bama, but can he turn down his home-state school?

Some sources say that Washington actually committed to the Tide coaches on his visit last weekend. Maybe, maybe not. If that was definitively what occurred, then by now he's had plenty of time to inform the Georgia coaches and move forward. That hasn't happened.

Washington told me essentially that Alabama was so impressive that he had a hard time imagining that Georgia could be better. And if his Georgia visit couldn't match what he had seen in Tuscaloosa, then he was coming to Alabama. But then he added firmly that he intended to take his official visit to Georgia this weekend and make his final decision a few days later.

There's certainly reason for optimism regarding the Loganville, Georgia lineman, but this one isn't locked up just yet.

Washington is a smart young man, and he can read a Georgia depth chart as well as anyone else. Almost immediate playing time awaits at Alabama, but so far at least he hasn't pulled the trigger.

Another Volunteer State Commitment?

Understandably many Tide fans are a little gunshy about defensive linemen from Tennessee, but less than a month after the NCAA finally got around to closing the Memphis case for good, Alabama appears set to add two Vol State D-Linemen to its team. Last week it was Brandon Fanney jumping on board, and this week could be K.T. Mainord's turn.

Brandon Fanney

K.T. Mainord of Coalmont, Tennessee is the most likely candidate. He's No. 1 on BamaMag.com's Hot Prospect list right now, mainly because we believe a decision could come soon.

Visiting South Carolina last weekend, the Gamecock coaches used the tired trick of trying to scare Mainord away from Bama with an "enhanced" depth chart, essentially listing every walk-on and any other stray names the SC creative writers could find. Interestingly, the trick seems to have backfired. Now that Mainord understands what Lou Holtz tried to do, he's back to talking about Bama being No. 1. Recruiting is certainly a dirty business--especially in the SEC. But tricks (at least the underhanded kind) often rebound back against the trickster.

The "Sleeper" Awakes

For most of Jeremy Jones' prep career he was a basketball player. In fact the Harvey, Louisiana native came very late to football. Then after he got started, an ACL injury ended his senior season prematurely. Both are reason enough to put many recruiters off the scent.

But big men (Jones is 6-4, 280 pounds and still growing) that can run (he claims tight end as his preferred position right now) don't go unnoticed for long.

Tide assistant Buddy Wyatt first came across Jones while Wyatt was still coaching at Texas A&M. He's been recruiting him for awhile, and if in-state LSU runs out of room, an athletic big man could very well fall into the Tide's lap.

Jones conceivably could end up at tight end or on the defensive or offensive line. He is also slated to visit Alabama and is very much in the mix.

Any Big Dogs Walking Bama's Way?

Most think Brandon Miller will sign with either FSU or Georgia, but he says he'll visit Alabama. (photo courtesy of TheTerritory.org)

The Tide coaches would like to ink two more defensive linemen, but if the right blue-chipper jumped they'd probably make room for three. Which line prospects are so good that Bama's coaches would willingly rewrite their board to make room?

That would probably be Brandon Miller or Michael Brown or Demonte Bolden.

Miller's decision will still probably come down to either Georgia or Florida State, but right now the Tide is still in the mix. And as TiderInsider first reported, current Bulldog commitment Michael Brown (6-5, 270, 4.9) is suddenly showing interest in the Tide. Both Miller and Brown are scheduled to visit Tuscaloosa the same weekend (the 23rd), which should make for some excitement.

Bolden of course visited Alabama last weekend and is slated to take official trips to Tennessee (where he's a soft verbal), Florida and Auburn.

Others?

Micah Howeth from Dallas, Texas and Walter Fisher from Nashville, Tennessee are two talented linemen who still mention the Tide prominently. At one time or another both have been scheduled to take official visits to the Alabama campus. However, academic concerns have slowed Bama's interest in the two. Depending on how things play out, Alabama could end up signing both and placing them in a junior college. Or, they might not.

Opelika's Jacquez McKissic had been contacted recently by Bama's coaches and was tentatively scheduled to visit the last weekend (January 30). At this point, McKissic says he'll visit Auburn this weekend and then make a decision. He has an offer in hand from Clemson, and unless the in-state Tigers come through with a scholarship Jacquez will probably go to Clemson.

McKissic could end up at Clemson.

NOTE: Without question assistant coach Paul Randolph has made his connections in the Peach State work for Alabama this recruiting year.

RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide is expected to sign as many as 25-26 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.


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