NCAA regulations allow only one so-called ‘official' visit per recruit per school, in which the hosting institution picks up the tab for all expenses. But so long as the athlete pays his own way, there is no limit on the time he can ‘unofficially' visit the campus.
Spotted at practice Sunday were Grant Brigham, Greg McLain, Tim Castille, Simeon Castille, Steve Tennin, Grant Nailen and LeRon McLain.
Starring for Mountain Brook High School, Brigham is one of the top-rated receiving prospects in the state. He attended Alabama's 7-on-7 passing camp back during the summer, but today he and his father drove the short distance to Tuscaloosa. Brigham has been timed running a sub 4.5 40-yard dash, and he is an excellent student who should qualify easily.
At one time or another the 6-0, 170-pound receiver has considered LSU, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Duke, Alabama and the Furman Paladins (his brother plays there).
At most, Alabama probably has only one more scholarship available for a receiver, and blue-chippers Ben Obomanu, Jason Allen and Mike Williams remain on the board. Though at this point Alabama likely does not lead for any of the three.
Also on hand was Lineville's Greg McLain. Late last week the Anniston Star reported that McLain had committed to play for Alabama. But though there is no doubt the 6-2, 225-pound athlete would love to play for the Tide, at this point his status remains somewhat uncertain.
McLain played fullback and defensive end his senior year of high school, but he says the Tide coaches think he could project at tight end or linebacker as well. McLain's mother and stepfather drove him to Tuscaloosa for yesterday's unofficial visit.
Louisville, Duke, Kentucky and Southern Miss have offered scholarships, but as a life-long Alabama fan McLain is holding out for the Tide. He is an excellent student who should have no trouble qualifying.
A member of Bama royalty, Jeremiah Castille, was also on hand Sunday. The former Tide All-America (‘79-'82) volunteers as an assistant coach at Briarwood Christian, and he brought four athletes with him yesterday. Sons Tim (junior tailback/athlete) and Simeon (sophomore cornerback) accompanied their famous father.
Bama fans have been talking about Tim (5-11, 212) ever since he starred on the varsity as an eighth grader, and next season he is expected to be one of the top senior tailbacks in the state.
Younger brother Simeon (6-1, 178) still has some growing to do, but already he's one of the most gifted corner prospects in Alabama. Simeon is a couple of inches taller than his legendary Dad, but he seems to have inherited all of his father's considerable coverage skills.
For this recruiting season at least, probably the most interesting Briarwood athlete on hand Sunday was Steve Tennin. The 6-2, 200-pound senior played outside linebacker in high school, helping lead his team deep into the state playoffs. He has good size, runs well and is a good student. Tennin has visited numerous Alabama games this past year, and Tide coaches hope he will make the decision to walk-on in the fall.
If Alabama is to overcome the upcoming scholarship reductions, resulting from NCAA sanctions, it will need several solid athletes like Tennin to join the squad without benefit of scholarship--at least initially.
Also from Briarwood, Grant Nailen attended Sunday's practice.
Though he isn't yet known throughout the state, the final ‘unofficial' visitor is thought by some to be Bama's future at fullback. Because he lives nearby, Tuscaloosa County's LeRon McLain is a frequent visitor to the Alabama practice fields. All-Everything Titus Ryan was the star this year for TCHS, but McLain's physical play impressed everyone that attended their games.
Only a junior, the buzz has already started about McLain, and early reports have Alabama in good position with the bruising blocker.