Tide hosts 5 athletes on official visits

As Alabama awaits official word on its bowl destination, the rebuilding process continued for Head Coach Dennis Franchione with the Tide hosting the first official-visit weekend of the winter. Five recruits were on hand for their official visit, including tailback Albert Hardy, defensive end Preston Parnell, offensive lineman Grant Dickey, tailback DeShawn Wynn and wide receiver Charlie Vample.

DeShawn Wynn

Tailback, 5-11, 202, 4.4, Reading High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

Ranked one of the top tailback prospects in the nation, Wynn is a dangerous combination of speed and size. He rushed for more than 2,200 yards and 30 touchdowns his final season at Reading. In track, he is one of the favorites for the 100-meter state championship. Ohio's Division 5 Player of the Year, Wynn is considering Alabama, Florida, Indiana and West Virginia.

He and his good friend Charlie Vample attended the Alabama/UCLA game on an unofficial visit, and the pair were flown to Tuscaloosa this weekend on The University's private jet. Wynn and Vample took an official visit to Indiana last weekend.

Top programs across the country are heavily recruiting Wynn, and he isn't likely to commit until after taking all his visits. Also, the outcome of Alabama's NCAA problem could be a factor. Assuming the Tide escapes without bowl or television bans, then Wynn could decide to commit.

Pictured together, Vample (left) and Wynn (right) are good friends, who would like to sign with the same team if possible.

Charlie Vample

Wide Receiver, 6-1, 180, 4.5, Reading High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

Vample has consistently ranked the Tide high on his lists throughout the recruiting process, but he's also considering Indiana, West Virginia and Cincinnati. A two-year starter, he caught 36 passes for 759 yards and eight TDs this year and had 37 catches for 776 yards and 16 TDs as a junior. He also returned three punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns.

There are qualifying concerns with Vample, but it's possible he could be a ‘sign and place' for the Tide.

Preston Parnell

Defensive End/Tight End, 6-5, 240, 4.6-4.7, Hargrave Military Academy, Crisp County High School, Cordele, GA

Parnell could play either tight end or defensive end on the college level.

Described as a player whose "motor never stops," Parnell's size and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect. He would need to gain strength and bulk to play defensive end, but he has the frame to easily add weight.

Parnell is a very good student and should have no trouble qualifying. Currently enrolled in prep school, he could potentially enroll in college immediately and join the team for winter workouts. Parnell is also considering Auburn, Purdue, Virginia, Georgia and Wake Forest.

Albert Hardy

Tailback, 5-11, 215, 4.5, Galena Park, TX

Considered one of the top tailback prospects in the Mid-West, Hardy knows about Coach Franchione from his days at TCU.

Hardy ran for more than 1,500 yards in only nine games as a senior, being named Class 4A All-State. One of the top tailback prospects this season, he's considering Alabama, Florida, Colorado, Texas and LSU.

Franchione's success at TCU with LaDainian Tomlinson (two-time leading rusher in the nation and the first running back chosen in last season's NFL draft), grabbed Hardy's attention. And the coveted back is giving the Tide a long look. Like Wynn, he will likely hold off on any decision until the outcome of Alabama's NCAA penalties is known.

Grant Dickey

Offensive Line, 6-5, 306, 5.3, Lee High School, Tyler, TX

Somewhat overlooked by home-state schools because of minor knee surgery his junior year, Dickey was an early commit for the Tide last summer. He is described as a bruisingly effective run blocker, capable of playing several positions on the offensive line. Given his size, good feet and work ethic, Dickey is the prototype offensive lineman favored by the current staff.

Similar to J.B. Closner, also out of Texas who signed with Alabama last season, Dickey is versatile position-wise with the frame to become an excellent lineman. He squats 425 pounds, has a 24-inch vertical leap and carries a 3.3 GPA.

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