Shula and Staff Working the Sunshine State

Coach Mike Shula has spent most of his life in south Florida. Now, as the head coach at the University of Alabama, he has picked up several good prospects already, and he and the Alabama staff are hoping to land more this month. Here is a quick look at the Tide's recruiting efforts in the Sunshine State.


This year, Alabama has landed four recruits from the state of Florida, and with a big weekend ahead January 7th, the Tide is expecting to add at least one more name from the sunshine state to the commit list.

The Commitments:

Clarence Ward, 5-11, 175, from Pensacola High School, is one of the top defensive backs in the country. The four star cornerback transferred from La Marque, Texas, to Pensacola for personal issues. Since his move, he has been a solid student, citizen, and football player. Ward will contribute as an excellent player in the Tide secondary. Ward proved he was the real deal in the CaliFlorida All-Star game.

Glen Coffee, 6-1, 205, may very well be the steal of this year's class. Coffee was explosive during his senior year at Fort Walton Beach High School. Coffee had over 2,000 yards of total offense and could make an immediate impact for the Tide. Though the three star athlete could play a variety of positions, he projects to start at running back.

Michael Johnson, 6-5, 265, is from Pine Forest High School in Pensacola. Johnson was offered by the Tide early, and he made a firm commitment before any of the Florida schools made an offer. Johnson plays with a mean streak, a good quality to possess for offensive lineman. This fall, Johnson attended several Alabama games. He projects as an excellent offensive tackle for the Crimson Tide. Johnson played in the CaliFlorida All-Star game.

Cole Harvey, 6-2, 250, is from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee. This fall, Harvey has been the top lineman for the perennial powerhouse football program. Harvey is hoping teammate Fred Rouse will join him at Alabama. The friendship along with Harvey's efforts, could keep them as teammates for the next 4-5 years, although Florida State is still considered a heavy favorite for Rouse. Harvey projects as a center for Alabama. Harvey also played in the CaliFlorida All-Star game.

The Prospects:

Fred Rouse, 6-3, 190, from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, has become a household name. Rouse is the number one football player in the country. Rouse is not only a solid football player, he is a solid citizen. During Christmas, Rouse and Roy Upchurch delivered Christmas gifts to those less fortunate. Though, it might be tough to pull Rouse out of the sunshine state, the efforts of Coach Shula and Company have not gone unnoticed. Rouse is going to be an impact player at any school he chooses.

Roy Upchurch, 6-0, 195, from Godby High School, made his mark as one of the top running backs in Florida. Upchurch heads the Roy Upchurch Christmas Drive which was started by his grandmother. Upchurch and Fred Rouse have a great relationship, and they could be talking about going to the same school. Alabama has a slight lead over Florida State for Upchurch's signature.

Chris Rogers, 6-0, 175, from Evangel Christian in Lakeland, proved he could make the switch from cornerback to free safety and be just as dominant. Though he started the season as a firm commitment to Maryland, Coach Chris Ball has been relentless in his recruiting efforts towards Rogers. For now, Maryland is 60/40 over Alabama, but Rogers claims a final decision to come after his official visit to Alabama, January 7th. The secondary class appears to be full, but Coach Ball has promised Rogers a spot.

Colin Peek- The Alabama coaching staff is looking for at least one standout tight end for this year's class. Colin Peek, 6-6, 250, from Bolles High School in Jacksonville, became known this season as one of the top tight ends in the southeast. Peek is known for his blocking abilities, but when a receiver is needed to make a big play, Peek is the go-to guy. This weekend Peek will visit Alabama, and the Tide is among his top three. Peek's grandfather, Richard Collins, played for Alabama, and that could play a role in landing the three star tight end.

Bryan Evans- With six commitments already, Alabama currently has the Top DB class in the Country by Scout.com, and the rich could get richer. Four star cornerback, Bryan Evans, from Ed White High School, is giving Alabama a serious look. Evans recently named Alabama among his favorites, and trying to decide if he will visit Alabama or Florida for his last official visit.

Mike Ford- Because of academics, several colleges stayed away from this standout running back from Sarasota. Ford, 6-2, 205, worked hard in the classroom and is expected to fully qualify. Ford was named Mr. Football in Class 5A. Ford lists Alabama, Auburn, and South Carolina as his favorites and will take visits to all three schools. It's not likely, but Alabama could land three running backs from the state of Florida.

Geusly Dervil, 5-11, 175, from Ed White High School in Jacksonville, is a name that has appeared on the Alabama recruiting scene. Dervil is scheduled to visit Alabama January 7th. The Tide is expected to take one more defensive back, and it could come down to who commits first. Dervil lists West Virginia as a slight leader over Alabama, but that could change after his official visit.

The Alabama coaching staff has landed several standouts from the Sunshine state already, and it looks like the Tide is just getting warmed up.

Alabama Official Visit List for January 7th


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