Photo report: Nine recruits on campus

With only four scholarships left to give, things are starting to get really interesting for the Tide on the recruiting trail. <br><br>Nine athletes visited Alabama this weekend, including Derrick Pope, Roshawn Pope, Juwan Garth, Chris Harris, Nic Luke, Earnest Nance, Sam McGrew, Greg McLain and Titus Ryan.

Derrick Pope, 6-0, 223, Linebacker
Considered by most to be one of the two or three top junior college linebackers in America, Pope is expected to step in and contribute right away to the Bama linebacking corps. Despite reports from other recruiting outlets, the nephew of Tide Assistant Head Coach Kenith Pope has been a firm commitment to Alabama for months. "I'm glad I made my decision early," Derrick Pope said today. I really like it here." Pope is a physical player with excellent speed, capable of playing any of the linebacking positions.


Roshawn Pope, 5-11, 180, Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
The brother of Derrick, Roshawn is an outstanding athlete in his own right. He starred at quarterback for his high school this past season, but Roshawn would likely project as either a receiver or DB in college. Roshawn is a martial arts expert and loves contact. Other schools recruiting Roshawn seriously are Oklahoma State, Houston, UCLA Purdue and LSU. "I'm wide open," Pope said. But his brother later added, "Oh yeah, Roshawn is going to come with me."


Juwan Garth, 6-2, 190, Rover
An early commitment to Alabama, Garth projects as the ideal Rover in Tide Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush's defensive scheme. Garth is also a star basketball player in high school, and a recent article in his hometown paper included a picture of him making an impressive dunk. "I've got some spring in my legs," was how Garth put it. Roman Harper hosted Garth on his visit.


Chris Harris, 6-6, 230, Defensive End
A native of Northport, Harris never hid his preference for Alabama and committed last summer. He has taken two unofficial visits to the Alabama campus recently, meeting and talking with other athletes considering the Tide. Harris projects as a classic "flash end," rushing the passer off the edge. His father explained last night that Chris had taken his ACT test early, getting that hurdle out of the way. Both Harris's made certain Titus Ryan (as yet uncommitted) understood that Tuscaloosa was the best place for him.


Nic Luke, 6-0, 213, Running Back/Strong Safety
The brother of current Tide receiver Triandos Luke, Nic could play tailback or safety--or he could continue to add strength and end up at fullback. Like his older brother, Nic is an excellent athlete and student. And the third brother in the family, Kelcey, is reported to be the best football player of the three. "Things have really gone well," Luke told BamaMag.com this morning. "I think I'll start out at tailback or I could play strong safety."


Earnest Nance, 6-3, 205, Linebacker
Before an ACL tear ended his senior season only five games in, Nance was considered one of the premier prospects in Alabama. Since then, he's undergone successful surgery, and Nance told BamaMag.com that he saw the doctor just this past week and "everything looked perfect." Nance has dropped 15 pounds or so since the injury, but he projects as a fast, athletic linebacker in college. He has been given a "blueshirt" scholarship offer by the Tide coaches, in which he would sit out fall semester rehabilitating his knee and enter The University in January of 2004. "Things are going very good," Nance said. "I really like Alabama."


Sam McGrew, 6-3, 220, Linebacker
An outstanding prospect at linebacker, McGrew's visit to Alabama proves his interest. He's from Crawfordville, Florida, and most pundits have him leaning to either homestate Florida or Florida State. Sam is the first cousin of former Gator great Reggie McGrew, but he said "I've always been wide open the whole time." McGrew is also considering Georgia Tech and Kentucky. He was hosted by Freddie Roach.


Greg McLain, 6-3, 240, Fullback/Tight End/Linebacker
Nicknamed "Moose" by most of his friends back home, McLain is capable of playing any of several positions. There was a misunderstanding about the terms of his scholarship offer with Alabama, but the family now reports that things are settled and that they appreciate the way Coach Franchione handled the matter. Like Nance, McLain has been offered a "blueshirt," with the promise of starting out next fall if one of Alabama's commitments doesn't make the grade.


Titus Ryan, 6-2, 190, Wide Receiver/Tailback
Believed to be the most physically gifted offensive prospect in the state, Ryan very much enjoyed his visit this weekend. He has blistering straight-ahead speed, catches the ball very well and relishes contact. Those attributes combined with his size, mean that Ryan could project at several positions in college, including safety. Ryan was hosted by Brandon Brooks.



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