(6-5, 260, 4.7)
Fanney spent most of his time as a senior playing defensive end, but he has the size and broad shoulders to possibly project on the inside in college. He played for Danny Woods, the brother of Tide Running Backs Coach Sparky Woods. With a year or so to develop, Bama's coaches feel very good about Fanney's long-term potential.
Fanney says he's already started to get an early start on preparing for next fall.
"Right now I'm working-out, running," he said. "I've got to get ready for the speed of the game."
And his one-word answer to why he chose to go out of state and sign with Alabama?
(6-3, 255, 4.88)
Prattville High School
Tall and almost slender for a defensive lineman, Hamilton brings excellent athleticism to the position. He runs very well, and arrives at the tackle with a bad attitude. Hamilton played defensive tackle for Prattville, but his long legs give him the look of a defensive end. Hamilton has work to do to get qualified, and at this point most expect he'll end up being placed by the Tide at a junior college. But qualifying is not out of reach yet.
Hamilton was able to dominate in high school, but he knows it won't be that easy in the SEC.
"Playing against better athletes," was his answer to the toughest adjustment he'll have to make. "The competition is a lot better. All the players are better."
(6-5, 250, 4.6)
Hoover High School
Another standout defender for state champion Hoover High School, Holifield is generally considered the top pure defensive end prospect in the state. He has excellent size, long arms, and Holifield runs very well. Some have compared him with a younger Antwan Odom. Unfortunately, Holifield has work to do to get qualified. Most assume that Alabama will end up placing him in a junior college, but qualifying is not yet out of reach.
Holifield talked about next fall and being a part of Bama's 2004 signing class.
"The coaches would like to have me around 270 (pounds, and I'm not that far off," he said. "It shouldn't be a problem."
"This year's class is one of the best in the country and I'm proud to be a part of it."
(6-3 ½, 287, 4.8)
Northwest Mississippi Junior College
defensive tackle/defensive end
Given that he's already played two seasons of college football, Turner is arguably the most valuable player in this signing class, at least in terms of his worth to the 2004 squad. Turner can play either inside or out, but he's broad enough to handle the rigors of defensive tackle. Given Alabama's need at that position, don't be surprised if Turner immediately steps into the playing rotation next year.
Turner was one of the most highly touted defensive linemen in the state of Florida as a high school senior. The chance for early playing time was a key factor in his choosing Alabama.
A man of few words, Turner gave his assessment of this year's signing class.
"From what I read and hear it is the best," he said.
(6-5, 275, 4.75)
Grayson High School, Loganville, Georgia
Bama's final public commitment, Washington made it official a week ago on the syndicated recruiting television show Countdown to Signing Day. For months the big D-Lineman had gone back and forth between his home-state Bulldogs and Alabama. Tide assistant Paul Randolph did a masterful job recruiting Washington and deserves a great deal of credit. But in the end Washington took a long look at the depth charts for both teams, figuring out that Alabama represented his best chance for early playing time.
Only 17 years old, Washington is probably not done growing. He'll get a look at defensive end, but most assume he'll end up at tackle.
Washington praised the job Tide Head Coach Mike Shula did in assembling this signing class.
"He just did a great job in-state," Washington said. "Now everyone in-state will want to come to Alabama because we are going to be back to where we used to be. The Tradition at Alabama is just something that everyone should want to be a part of."
He may only be a recruit still months away from reporting, but Washington has already set his goals. Clearly he'll fit in just fine at Alabama.
"We are going to win a SEC Championship and hopefully, a National Championship," Washington stated flatly.
(6-1, 255, 4.75)
Hoover High School
middle linebacker/defensive lineman
Already 250+ pounds and only a high school senior, many predict Dawson will go ahead and put on 20-30 pounds more and end up at defensive tackle. It could happen, but he'll begin his college career as a powerful and aggressive middle linebacker. A man among men at Hoover, Dawson helped lead his team to a state championship.
According to Dawson, Bama's coaches didn't have to work very hard to convince him to commit.
"I was sold on Alabama since day one. Alabama is an up-and-coming program. We have an amazing recruiting class. We have some big time players and the coaches do not want to do anything but help us and get us on the way to a National Championship."
Hillcrest High School
The son of former Tide linebacker and strength coach Rich Wingo, Jake also played for Hillcrest High School, along with fellow Bama commits Travis Robinson and Cody Davis. He handled mostly safety in high school, but if Wingo grows any then he could project at linebacker like his father. A sure tackler, Wingo is expected to help on special teams.
Before turning his attention to college football, Wingo intends to have a stellar baseball season at Hillcrest.
"When I start working-out after baseball, I will start adding weight," he explained.
Before committing to the Crimson Tide, Wingo took an official visit to Clemson where former Bama assistant Dabo Swinney was recruiting him hard. But when it came down to it, family and tradition won out.
"Alabama was where my heart told me to go," Wingo explained. "I have been an Alabama fan my whole life, and that's where I wanted to be."
(6-1, 190, 4.46)
Fort Payne High School
Rated probably the top pure safety prospect in the state, Carter is fast enough and flexible enough to handle cornerback. But he says that safety, with its opportunity to deliver the blow, is a more natural position for him.
Carter committed in July to sign with Auburn, but almost immediately he regretted the precipitous decision. He and his father attended virtually every Tide game this year, and Carter went with his heart in signing with Alabama.
Asked what he thought would be the toughest adjustment to college football, Carter replied, "Just how the players are going to be bigger and faster. I will have to adjust to the game speed."
(6-1, 187, 4.5)
Briarwood Christian Academy
The top cornerback/safety prospect in the state of Alabama this year, Simeon joins his brother Tim and father Jeremiah at Alabama. He played numerous positions in high school, helping lead Briarwood to the state title this year. But cornerback is his natural position. Some scouts have described Simeon as "just as talented as his father, only an inch taller."
Castille talked a bit about how talented this signing class is.
"It's great. We got everyone we needed. It really surprised me with Alabama not having so great a year that we got just about every top player in the state--and even top-notch players out-of-state. It just shows the great tradition that people see in Alabama football.
"It makes a statement about Alabama football and that all these guys are ready to get Alabama headed back to the top."
(6-1, 170, 4.5)
Fort Payne High School
defensive back/wide receiver
An early commitment to Alabama, many have overlooked McDaniel during the recruiting process. But the Tide coaches are convinced they landed an excellent athlete. McDaniel played quarterback this past year, basically to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. He could project at either wide receiver or defensive back at Alabama, depending on where he's needed most.
McDaniel is an excellent all-around athlete, but for now he's concentrating on getting ready for next fall.
"I'm not playing any other sports, just working out," McDaniel said. "Strength is a priority. (I want to get) much stronger and quicker with my all-around game."
(5-10, 180, 4.3)
Hillcrest High School
Generally considered the top pure cover cornerback prospect in the state, Robinson combines blazing speed with an aggressive nature. He loves to hit, and is one of the better tacklers you're likely to see at the cornerback position.
Robinson frankly didn't get thrown at that much this year, as opposing quarterbacks chose other options. But when given a chance he displayed good instincts and a feel for playing pass defense.
Robinson is another recruit that loves the idea of playing football for the Crimson Tide. And he's also got an eye toward his long-term future.
"Tradition," he replied when asked why he committed. "When I walked into that stadium at the Oklahoma game...and when I went for my official visit and put on that jersey...
"I knew where I wanted to be."
"And they've got a great business school, too," Robinson added.
RECRUITING NOTES: Alabama is allowed to bring in 19 new scholarshipped players this fall. The Tide signed 27 athletes today, anticipating that several will not become qualified. Also, 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.