Lost Weekend

It was not so much what went on in Tuscaloosa this weekend as what was going on at other campuses hosting football prospects being sought by the Crimson Tide. There were a couple of disappointments and there could be others.

After visiting Bama the previous weekend, running back James Davis of Atlanta said the Crimson Tide was his leader. He reportedly told Virginia Tech that he had committed to Bama. But this weekend he went to Clemson and reported afterwards that Alabama having six running backs (it would be interesting to see what names he was shown as Tide running backs by the Clemson coaches), he was committing to Clemson. Because players of his caliber rarely pick a school based on tough competition at another, Davis' commitment is considered "soft."

More disturbing, perhaps, was defensive end Antonio Coleman of Mobile announcing that he committed to Auburn on his visit to Auburn this weekend. Although he had not committed to Alabama, he left Tuscaloosa last weekend with the Crimson Tide a clear leader.

Not so fellow Mobilian tight end Gabe McKenzie. He has never seemed interested in Alabama and it was no surprise that he announced after his Auburn visit that Auburn and Miami remain his leaders. Tight end Tommy Trott of Montgomery also visited Auburn and most expect that after a long look at Bama he will finally commit to the school where his father played.

Tight end Colin Peek of Jacksonville, Florida, visited Georgia Tech and is expected to visit Duke before making a final decision.

Running back Mikell Simpson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, visited Florida this weekend. The Gators had not been in the picture for Simpson, but now may rank among the top three (with Alabama, his previous leader, and Virginia). Also visiting Florida was defensive end Doug Worthington of Athol Springs, New York, who is committed to Ohio State, but looking around (including at Bama last weekend) since the Buckeyes are possibly headed for NCAA trouble. (We would say SURELY headed for NCAA trouble except for the NCAA's long history of ignoring violations by Big Ten schools.)

Running back Roy Upchurch of Tallahassee, considered to be leaning to Bama, cancelled his visit to Florida, but will visit Arkansas next weekend. Running back Mike Ford of Sarasota, Florida, is said to like Alabama, but he may make a couple more visits. His scheduled visit to South Carolina this weekend was at least postponed because of academic questions.

Bama is waiting to see how Nick Kyles, a wide receiver from Milledgeville, Georgia, enjoyed his visit to Mississippi State this weekend. His twin brother, Jarvis (not a Tide prospect), committed to the Bulldogs.

Three defensive linemen being sought by Bama were on official visits this weekend–Bobby Greenwood of Prattville, visiting FSU; Brandon Deaderick of Elizabethton, Kentucky, who reportedly was not as thrilled as some to see Auburn's 2004 football team paraded on hay wagons; and Antonio Forbes of Norcross, Georgia, who made what is thought to be his final visit this weekend, to Louisville.

Alabama did host a handful of prospects, including six who have already committed to join Bama on Signing Day, February 2. They included offensive lineman Michael Johnson of Pensacola, offensive lineman Marlon Davis of Columbus, Georgia, defensive back Clarence Ward of Pensacola (who is reported as likely to visit Florida State next weekend), defensive back Michael Ricks of Courtland, and defensive linemen Brandon Fanney and Lorenzo Washington of Hargrave Academy.

Also visiting were two kicking prospects, placekicker Andrew Friedman of Mobile and punter Swayze Waters of Jackson, Missississippi (who likely are being asked to walk on). A final visitor was reported to be Quentin Taylor, a linebacker from Apopka, Florida.

Quarterback Jimmy Johns of Brookhaven, Mississippi, who committed to the Tide last week, had been expected to visit Mississippi State this weekend and Ole Miss next weekend, but he announced he had cancelled all future visits.

Quarterback Jonathan Garner of Daytona Beach, a former Florida commitment who had been reported last week as possibly considering Alabama, announced after his weekend visit to Georgia Tech that he is down to Louisville and the Yellow Jackets. He did not visit Bama.

NOTE: Reports by Andrew Bone were compiled to produce this report.

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