JUCO DT and CB Could Provide Answers

The performance of the Crimson Tide defense in the 2001 season has left many question marks about the probability of a turnaround in time for the 2002 season. Sometimes, a unit needs only to improve a couple of problem areas and other times a complete facelift is in order. The lack of a consistent pass rush and secondary players with flexible coverage skills has opened the door for immediate playing time for prospects looking to make a sudden impact.

Cornerback and defensive tackle are two of the greatest needs on a defense with many needs. There are enough needs that both junior college and high school prospects will have an opportunity for early playing time if their names are on the list of signees on National Signing Day.

One junior college defensive tackle worthy of a scholarship offer from the Alabama coaching staff is Demarcus Johnson from Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Mississippi. The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder has outstanding physical tools according to his coach.

"Demarcus is as good as anybody we've ever had," said SMCC Head Coach Dom Green. "He's a big guy that can run. He can rush the passer and he's also very strong and gets off blocks real well. Demarcus has the ability to be an NFL player."

Johnson played his prep football at Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Florida. In fact, he was a teammate of current Alabama receiver Antonio Carter. Additionally, he has other acquaintances on the Crimson Tide football team.

"Antonio was my teammate," said Johnson. "I also know Aries Monroe, Carlos Andrews, and Tarry Givens from Godby High School in Tallahassee."

Johnson is scheduled for an official visit this weekend and seeing familiar faces will definitely help him feel at home. However, there is another reason why his visit should be more familiar.

"Alabama recruited me out of high school," said Johnson. "I took a visit there and it's a good program."

Other schools offering scholarships to Johnson are Auburn, Central Florida, Clemson, Florida, and Tennessee. Florida State is giving strong indications that they will also extend an offer in the near future. Johnson, who graduates in December, has his list narrowed to a lucky list of three finalists.

"My top three are Alabama, Auburn, and Central Florida," said Johnson. "I have never visited Auburn and Central Florida so I don't know as much about them."

Cornerback could also receive a boost from a junior college prospect. The scenario is similar in that there is a bit of familiarity. David Scott, a 6-0, 180-pounder from Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Mississippi, also has ties to Alabama. Scott is originally from Homestead, Florida and he signed with North Carolina as a high school senior. Current Alabama Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush was the head coach and Safeties Coach Ron Case was a member of his staff. Scott spent two years at North Carolina but transferred to JCJC after their departure and a reunion could be in the near future.

Jones County Junior College Head Coach Parker Dykes says that Scott has the tools to be a difference maker. Dykes has spent over 20 years in the Mississippi junior college ranks and he likes what he's seen of Scott.

"David is a great cover corner and he‘ll come up and hit you," said Dykes. "He's done a great job for us and we‘re glad we‘ve got him because he‘s been an excellent addition."

Scott has 33 tackles, six interceptions, and two caused fumbles on the season. He projects as a May graduate and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Editor's Note: Both Johnson and Scott are strong possibilities to sign with the Crimson Tide, particularly Scott.

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