RECRUITING 2002: The Offense

Recruiting is heading down the backstretch with less than 60 days left until National Signing Day. The plan is to sign 17 projected qualifiers to scholarships and several others may be placed in junior colleges. Currently, 14 prospects have committed to head coach Dennis Franchione and his staff. So, which prospects are in the best position to qualify and which prospects are most likely to be added to the list of commitments?

QUARTERBACK

Committed:

QB Brandon Avalos was a standout at the Alabama football camp

Brandon Avalos, a 6-foot-1.5, 180-pounder from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, gave a strong performance at the Alabama summer football camp in July. The Tide staff gave him an immediate offer and Avalos accepted the opportunity to wear crimson. Avalos has the type of gifts with the football in his hands that cannot be coached. He has a natural feel for the game, quick feet, and the ability to improvise during the course of a play. Avalos has a strong work ethic and a desire to succeed which should allow him to reach his full potential on the college level.

On the board:

None.

RUNNING BACK

Committed:

RB Kenneth Darby plays a physical brand of football

Kenneth Darby, a 5-foot-11, 190-pounder from Butler High School in Huntsville, Alabama, was another camp standout this past summer. Darby is a physical football player who looks for contact as soon as he steps across the sidelines. He runs the football with a desire to get the most out of every rushing attempt and he is also team player willing to carry out his blocking assignments to help his team win. Darby has remained firm in his commitment to the Crimson Tide despite the efforts of other programs to test the strength of his word.

Nick Luke, a 6-foot-1, 215-pounder from Central High School in Phenix city, Alabama, has made the decision to join his brother, Triandos Luke, in Tuscaloosa. Luke has the size to project as a fullback if team needs dictate a move. On the prep level, Luke played a wingback position in a Wing-T offense. The Wing-T is designed to spread the football around to different skill positions but Luke made the most of his opportunities. Luke is a good student with a solid work ethic who will only get bigger and stronger on a college strength and conditioning program.

On the board:

Titus Ryan, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Alabama, is a heavy lean to Alabama. Ryan has only played two years of football but he has already established himself as one of the best athletes in the state. Unfortunately, there are some academic uncertainties that could force Ryan to begin his career on the junior college level. Ryan is scheduled to make an official visit on January 11th.

Deshawn Wynn, a 5-foot-11, 222-pound speedster from Reading High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, has made two visits to Tuscaloosa. The first was an unofficial visit for the UCLA game and the second was an official visit during the weekend of December 7th. Wynn is a difference maker with outstanding power and speed. The biggest questions concerning the recruitment of Wynn are not only which school he will choose, but when he will reach a decision. Wynn has expressed a desire to complete his visits before reaching a decision and it may be late January before he makes a commitment. Usually, a staff can wait it out for a truly outstanding prospect but self-imposed sanctions may dictate a less risky strategy.

WIDE RECEIVER

Committed:

WR Zach Fletcher could make an impact in 2002

Zach Fletcher, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from Community College of San Francisco in San Francisco, California, saw his dream come true when the Tide extended a scholarship offer to him. Fletcher is the big receiver that the Tide offense has lacked for quite some time. He is an excellent leaper with good hands who should be a weapon on possession downs and in the red zone. Fletcher is originally from Moulton, Alabama where he played his prep career at Lawrence County High School. The Southeastern Conference has a three-semester rule that will keep Fletcher at CCSF until May despite the fact that he is a December graduate. There is a waiver process but it would require approval from the SEC office.

On the board:

Grant Brigham, a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Mountain Brook, Alabama, played his prep football for former Alabama wide receiver, Joey Jones. Brigham has a brother, Hindley, who is a current player in the Furman Paladins football program. Brigham has a strong bond with Vanderbilt Assistant Coach Jeff Rutledge who is still under contract to the Commodores. Rutledge will learn his fate in the near future and his destiny could impact Brigham's decision. Additionally, Furman Head Coach Bobby Johnson is a candidate for the Vanderbilt head coaching vacancy. Brigham is scheduled to make an official visit on January 11th.

Jamall Broussard, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound speedster from College of the Canyons in Santa Clara, California, is scheduled to make an official visit to Alabama on January 18th. Broussard, who is originally from Kingwood, Texas, is a transfer from Texas Tech. In fact, he roomed with former Texas Tech running back Shaud Williams for one season in Lubbock. Williams is currently sitting out this season due to the transfer rule for four-year institutions. Broussard is known for his outstanding quickness and speed. He is expected to graduate in May.

WR Ben Obomanu is the model student-athlete

Ben Obomanu, a 6-foot-2, 184-pounder from Selma, Alabama, is the model student-athlete. Obomanu excels in the classroom and on the gridiron. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Louisiana State are all waging a fierce battle for Obomanu's signature. Obomanu is expected to visit Alabama on January 14th which falls on a Monday. The visit will come on the heels of a weekend visit to Auburn. There are differing opinions about weekday visits versus weekend visits. One school of thought is that Obomanu will receive more attention as the only visitor on campus during his visit.

Roshawn Pope, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder from Ball High School in Galveston, Texas, is the nephew of assistant coach Kenith Pope. A dazzling athlete on the football field, Pope has an arsenal of moves to use against defenders. There is some uncertainty about Pope's academic status which could create more than one scenario for him. Pope could land in Tuscaloosa or be placed in a Mississippi junior college depending on the outcome of those uncertainties.

Charlie Vample, a 6-foot, 175-pounder from Reading High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the teammate of running back Deshawn Wynn. Vample and Wynn could sign with the same school if they both chose either Alabama, Indiana, or West Virginia. However, Vample has some academic uncertainties that could force him to begin his career on the junior college or prep school level. Vample is also being recruited by the hometown Cincinnati Bearcats.

Mike Williams, a 6-foot-4, 210-pounder from Plant High School in Tampa, Florida, is the largest of the receivers on the board. Williams is looking for a program where his size would make him unique among the receivers on the team roster and Alabama could be a good fit. The limited number of available scholarships will impact the direction of future commitments but Williams is currently expected to make an official visit.

TIGHT END

Committed:

None.

On the board:

TE Sean Harmon can run and catch

Sean Harmon, a 6-foot-5, 245-pounder from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma, is known for his athleticism and good hands. Harmon is a versatile player capable of being used as an H-back or tight end. Tight end is a significant need for the Alabama offense and Harmon could be the answer. He is expected to make an official visit on January 11th. Illinois, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and Texas A&M are also in the running for Harmon.

Greg McLain, a 6-foot-2.5, 230-pounder from Lineville, Alabama, is a lifelong Alabama fan who bleeds crimson. McLain is a good student and a young man of good character. He is also an excellent football player who could project as a tight end, fullback, or defensive end. There is more than one scenario where McLain could become a member of the Crimson Tide football program.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Committed:

OL Grant Dickey made an early commitment to Alabama

Grant Dickey, a 6-foot-5, 305-pounder from Lee High School in Tyler, Texas, was an early commitment to Alabama. Dickey fits the mold of the physical linemen that Coach Franchione and staff look for on the recruiting trail. Other programs have tried to test Dickey's commitment but he has remained firm with his pledge to the Crimson Tide. Dickey is being recruited by his future position coach, Jim Bob Helduser, who has a strong reputation as an evaluator and coach of offensive linemen.

On the board:

None.

Crimson Ticket Extra: This compilation of information is the product of guesswork on the part of the writer. It is in no way meant to be the true recruiting board which is known only to the Alabama coaching staff.


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