The group included Alabama's 6A Back of the Year (John Parker Wilson), the 5A Lineman of the Year (Justin Britt), the 4A Back of the Year (Aaron Johns), the 3A Lineman of the Year (B.J. Stabler), the 2A Back of the Year (Ezekiel Knight) and the AISA Lineman of the Year (Drew Davis).
(6-4 ½, 255, 4.8)
Cullman High School
The top-rated two-way lineman in the state, Britt could end up on either offense or defense, depending on where he's needed. But not surprisingly the younger brother of Tide All-American Wesley Britt says he'd like to start off at guard. Britt has the combination of size, quickness and technique that could translate to an outstanding guard on the college level.
Asked about where he thinks he'll play at Alabama, Britt replied, "I still don't know yet. The coaches are going to look at all the positions after signing day and figure out where they need me the most.. I would like to play offensive guard. I think I will have a great chance of playing early."
(6-2 ½, 265, 5.1)
Lee High School
One of the Top Five offensive line prospects in the state, Caldwell could easily play guard. But his high level of intelligence have many predicting he'll end up at center, calling the blocking schemes. For months it was assumed that Auburn led for Caldwell, but Bama's coaches did an outstanding job of selling the school and the opportunity for quick playing time.
Caldwell talked about the main factors that caused him to commit to Alabama.
"Mainly Paul Randolph. Plus, I have been an Alabama fan my whole life. Coach Randolph just did a great job recruiting me and he showed me not just things about football but what is going to be going on after football.
"All of my life I have dreamed of playing football for Alabama. Now, I'm going to be able to live my dream."
(6-7, 265, 5.15)
Hillcrest High School
Davis' combination of height, wing span and quick feet make him an ideal candidate to play offensive tackle in college. Like virtually every O-Line prospect, he'll need a year or so to bulk up and get stronger in the weight room, but Davis' long-term potential is excellent.
Davis said Bama's coaches and superior facilities sold him on the Tide.
"The new facilities," Davis said of his reasons for committing. "The coaches are straight-forward. They tell you how they see it...not just what you want to hear."
(6-6, 270, 5.5)
By his own admission Davis has agreed to be a grayshirt this year if needed, delaying entry into The University until January of 2005. But the Tide coaches like his long-term potential. A three-sport athlete in high school, Davis played football, basketball and baseball. He'll need time in the weight room to bulk up, but Davis has good potential.
Davis knows that he'll need to add some weight to handle the rigors of O-Line play in the SEC, but he's ready for the challenge.
"The coaches want me around 320 (pounds)," he said. "The competition is going to be a lot tougher."
(6-4 ½, 291, 5.38)
Clarke County High School
You can argue the point one way or another, but based on athleticism and footwork Stabler was generally seen as the top offensive tackle prospect in the state this year. Alabama simply had to sign several talented offensive linemen, and Stabler's commitment went a long way towards achieving that goal by itself.
Stabler will need a year to bulk up and toughen up for SEC play, but Stabler has the long arms and excellent feet that will serve him well at tackle.
Having interacted with most of them on unofficial and official visits, Stabler gave his assessment of this year's Tide signing class.
"All of them are cool," Stabler said. "And they're all different. Some are calm...cool...different characteristics. There are some funny guys."
(6-3, 180, 4.4)
Fort Walton Beach High School
A track star in the spring, Keith "Mississippi" Brown brings a combination of size and blazing speed that is tough to defend. He played three years in Gulfport, Mississippi before transferring to Fort Walton Beach for his senior season. If Brown can put on a few pounds over the summer, he has a good chance to possibly earn playing time as a true freshman.
After taking his official visit to The Capstone, Brown gave maybe the best quote (from an Alabama fan's point of view) of the recruiting season.
"It was a like a brotherhood down there," Brown said of his visit. Scant days later he was committed.
(6-3, 171, 4.37)
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Rated one of the top receivers in the state of Florida, Hall decided on Alabama after his official visit when he talked extensively with Mike Shula and Dave Rader about their plans for the Tide offense. Hall's combination of height and speed make him a difficult match-up problem for virtually every cornerback out there. If he reports strong and in good shape, he'll get an opportunity to earn immediate playing time.
Hall didn't grow up in Alabama, nor was the Tide his favorite team as a child. But he announced his commitment with those two magic words: "Roll Tide!"
At one time he was leaning to in-state Florida, but after seeing the campus in person and getting to know his prospective teammates, his decision was easy.
"When I went on my visit, I got along with the players and the coaches great," Hall explained. "I felt like I fit in well at Alabama, and that it was the place for me. The coaches said I could make an impact."
Randolph County High School
Playing against small-school competition this year, Knight was often a man among boys. Even in the state championship game, the opposing defenders simply couldn't match up with his size, strength and athleticism.
Because of his height and aggressive play, many scouts predict that linebacker will be his ideal college position. Knight doesn't argue the point, but he'll begin his college career on offense at Alabama. Later if defense works out, fine. But he wants a first look at receiver. Knight has work to do to become qualified, but it's possible.
Without doubt Bama's coaches made an impression on Knight. Specifically he appreciates their being honest with him about his position, while at the same time allowing him to give his preferred position a first shot.
"The coaches are giving me a chance to play wide receiver," Knight noted. "We have a good class. I got to hang out with Keith Brown and D.J. Hall, and they are cool."
(6-1, 190, 4.45)
Nease High School, Jacksonville, Florida
Another early commitment to Alabama, Oakley jumped at the chance to play for the Crimson Tide. His father played baseball for Alabama, and Oakley's grandfather currently works in The University's School of Communications.
A high-hurdler during track season, Oakley combined good speed, soft hands and strength to sometimes dominate opposing defensive backs this past year. He's been told that if he reports in good condition and picks up the offense quickly, then he could earn a chance at early playing time this year.
An aggressive athlete on the playing field, Oakley wasn't shy in describing why he chose Alabama either.
"The one thing that sold me on Alabama was the people," Oakley said. "The coaching staff, my future teammates, and fans.
"No football compares to Alabama."
Brantley High School
A late addition to the state recruiting scene, those that saw Stamps play in person certainly had no doubt about his ability. On offense Stamps was just too tall and too strong for defensive backs to stop. And on defense he was so athletic and instinctive at linebacker that many predict that will be his natural position in college. Stamps doesn't care much one way or the other. He jumped at the chance to play football for the Crimson Tide.
Brantley administrators checked their books, and it's believed that Marcel is the first football athlete from his high school to sign a scholarship with Alabama. Stamps has some work to do to become qualified.
Like most recruiting pundits, Stamps has been impressed with the Tide's signing class.
"They're awesome; great athletes," he said. "(They're) very good individuals that are all real cool."
And as for the Alabama football program itself, "High class, very classy," was Stamps' assessment.
(6-2, 187, 4.5)
Hartselle High School
Rated by most services as the No. 1 offensive prospect in the state of Alabama, Stover is one of those rare athletes that has a chance to play immediately. He's fast, but frankly his stride is so graceful that you almost don't notice. Stover's leaping ability, soft hands and aggressive nature allow him to go up in traffic and somehow almost always come down with the football. Stover played some safety in high school, but at Alabama he's expected to be a receiver all the way.
Unfortunately, Stover has some ground to make up in the classroom, but he's within reach of qualifying.
Stover knows his football, and he was eager to commit to Alabama, based at least partially on its need for wide receivers.
"Playing time," Stover answered when asked for some factors that caused him to commit. "And the staff is so nice. Being with A.C. Carter (his player host on his official visit) was great, too."
(5-10, 185, 4.5)
Originally recruited by former Tide coach Mike Price to play slotback, Johns put up eye-popping numbers his senior prep season as a tailback. After reviewing his film, Bama's coaches describe him as a slightly taller, slightly faster version of Shaud Williams, high praise indeed. If he can get qualified, expect Johns to get his first look at tailback for the Tide.
A young man of relatively few words, Johns nevertheless made himself clear on why he choose to sign with Alabama.
"It's my home-state school," he began... "Well, just everything."
"I've made good friends with the guys in this signing class. We have already bonded."
(6-5, 242, 4.66)
T.R. Miller High School
A devastating blocker on the high school level, Davidson is so big and effective that many just assume he'll end up at guard. That may be the case, but Bama's coaches are going to start him at tight end, where frankly he has an opportunity to come in and earn immediate playing time.
T.R. Miller rarely used him in the role, but Davidson also has good hands, making him a threat as a receiver as well.
Davidson said that despite Bama's recent troubles, this recruiting class proves that the Tide will be back.
"Everyone thought we wouldn't have a good class because of probation. Anyone can just look at the guys that have committed to Alabama and see all the great players and athletes, and we are just amazing. We are going to take Alabama back to the top.
"We are here to take care of business."
(6-2, 235, 4.75)
Prattville High School
Possibly the most versatile athlete in this year's signing class, McCall could play tight end, fullback, linebacker or defensive end. Prattville loved to run the football, so McCall was used primarily this past year as a blocking tight end. He's a very aggressive player, which has many predicting he'll move to defense, add some bulk and handle defensive end. McCall says he doesn't care where, he just wants to play.
According to McCall, Bama fans can chalk up another commitment to the hard work of the Tide staff and Paul Randolph in particular.
"I liked the coaches," McCall said. "Just the feeling I got from the coaches.
"Coach Randolph. He is a funny guy and great to be around."
(6-5, 235, 4.83)
Pike County High School
Definitely the top receiving tight end in the state this year, Walker helped lead Pike County to the state championship. He played with talented quarterback Chris Nickson, and often Walker would bail his offense out by simply going up for the pass and bringing it down no matter how many DBs were close by.
It's possible that Walker could see quick action as a big receiver next year, but more likely he'll sit out a year to bulk up and turn himself into an SEC tight end. Walker has soft hands and is not shy about going to get the football.
Making the most of his high school career, Walker is now competing for Pike County's 19-3 basketball squad.
"Basketball," he replied when asked what he was doing now. "We're giving a run for the state championship."
For now, he's focusing on hoops. But once the season is done he's heading straight to the weight room.
"The coaches want me to get more muscle," Walker explained.
John Parker Wilson
(6-1, 180, 4.62)
Hoover High School
An incredibly prolific passer, Wilson was the trigger-man for the high-powered Hoover High offense this year and last. He's very accurate and has a solid arm. Wilson has the ability to scramble if needed, but he's always looking down field, hoping to spot an open receiver and make a big play. For a high school senior Wilson displayed a startling ability to read opposing defenses, spot the open the man and deliver the ball on target.
Wilson is also an excellent baseball player and expects to play both sports at Alabama.
Wilson didn't commit right away, but according to his mother his decision was never seriously in doubt. "There was never any doubt," she said. "It was Alabama all the way."
John Parker Wilson agreed, "Growing up an Alabama fan and coming to the games--it came easy," he said of his decision to commit.
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.