Alabama Defensive Class of '05 - Part 1

The Tide defensive signees, Travis McCall, Brandon Fanney, Lorenzo Washington, Prince Hall, and Byron Walton, talk about when they plan to enroll, what position they are projected to play, and their expectations once they arrive on campus. Part one of a two part series.

Travis McCall, from Prattville High School, originally signed with the class of 2004. McCall had academic work to complete, therefore he returned to the high school classroom in Prattville. He is ready to get to the Alabama campus.

McCall is a very gifted athlete. He is capable of playing several positions, which is a great benefit to the Tide staff.

"I talked to Coach Ungerer the other day. I am really looking forward to finally getting on campus. All I had to do was take one semester. I am out of high school, and I have been working-out everyday. The coaches have said they want me to play tight end. I am very happy with that decision. I have always played tight end. I think I will do a good job," said

The former Prattville star was in Tuscaloosa for Alabama's A-Day game, and saw a lot of good things.

"They are looking pretty good. They are passing the ball a lot, and I like that. I am very excited about getting there."

When asked about summer enrollment, McCall replied, "I am planning to enroll in either June or July. I am going there, and I am ready. I am going to give it my best on every play," said McCall.

Currently, McCall is 6-2, 264 lbs.

The Alabama coaching staff is going to be very happy when defensive linemen, Brandon Fanney and Lorenzo Washington step foot on campus. The two 2004 signees have spent the past year at Hargrave Military Academy.

Fanney and Washington are ready to finally get to Tuscaloosa, and they are more than ready to contribute to the Alabama defense.

Fanney was not highly recruited out of high school, but after starting on the Hargrave defense, his stock soared. He was moved from a two star prospect to a four star for his incredible year.

Though he was not in Tuscaloosa for Alabama's A-Day game, Fanney has stayed in close contact with his future position coach.

"I talked to Coach Randolph Sunday night. He was telling me what all was going on in Tuscaloosa. We talked about football a little bit as well," said Fanney.

Fanney is a solid 6-5, 265 lbs. He expects to start his career at Alabama as a defensive end.

"The coaches have said I will play defensive end. They said if I come in and do what they ask,
I will have a very good chance to play this year. I feel like if anyone is slacking, then I will be able to come in and back them up. I know, if I do what I know, I will be playing a lot."

It is still not certain when he will arrive in Tuscaloosa, but Fanney hopes for sooner rather than later.

"I hope to be down there for the first summer session. My grades have to go through the NCAA
Clearinghouse, and hopefully they will go through fast. If not, I will be down there working-out as soon as I can," said Fanney.

Fanney hopes to wear # 98.

Lorenzo Washington was the most highly publicized recruit of the class of 2004. He made a huge publicity splash when he announced his decision on Countdown to Signing Day.

There are many who are waiting for the arrival of Zo Washington. He is determined to see the field in the fall, and he expects to compete on the defensive line.

"I am going to come in and fight for a starting spot. Hopefully, I can make the rotation by the end of the year, and I will be starting heading into next spring," said Washington.

Washington is not worried about the expectations for himself, but the expectations for the Crimson Tide.

"I really think if nobody gets hurt next year, we will go undefeated. We are already many steps ahead of last year. We are going to have the best defensive unit in the country. Period."

Washington was in Tuscaloosa for Alabama's A-Day game.

"A-Day was great. It was great to see all the new signees, and the facilities are starting to move along. It was just great to be down there with everyone," said Washington.

Zo believes he can play a couple of different positions, and that will benefit the Tide's depth chart.

"Coach Randolph wants me to come in around 270 lbs. I can drop or add weight. It depends on where they want to put me. I can play either on the end or tackle."

Washington is counting down the days, and knows when he will arrive in Tuscaloosa.

"Fifty-one days are left. I am ready to get out of here, and get down there. I am planning on June 6. That is what I am shooting for right now. I am planning to wear # 97 in the fall," said Washington.

The Crimson Tide landed two top flight recruits out of the state of California. On defense, Prince Hall, from Moreno Valley, was considered one of the top linebackers on the west coast, with several scholarship offers. After following the Alabama football program his entire life, he had the opportunity to commit to the Tide.

Doubts still remain if Hall will qualify academically, and make it to campus with his signing class. He does have a few more opportunities to take the ACT/SAT, and he believes he will wear the crimson and white jersey in the fall of 2005.

"My grades are pretty good right now. I am not fully qualified yet though. I am taking the ACT and the SAT again. I need to score a 17 on my ACT or an 820 on my SAT. I am taking the ACT this weekend. I will take the SAT May 7. There is no doubt in my mind, I will be in Tuscaloosa this fall. I plan to enroll in July," said Hall.

Residing in California, Hall has not had the opportunity to return to Alabama since his official visit in November. One Tide coach did fly to the west coast to talk with his signee.

"Coach Shula came out here, and visited with my family and me about two weeks ago. It went very well. We talked a lot, and had a good time. He said they want me to come play linebacker. The coaches have not talked to me about another position."

Hall does not expect to come in and start in the fall, and said, "I really don't expect to do much my first year. Of course, I want to come in and play. I know I won't start because the linebackers at Alabama are all seniors and juniors. I hope I can contribute though."

The Alabama staff landed a huge defensive lineman when they snagged a commitment from Byron Walton from West Morgan High School. Walton had been considered a strong Alabama lean for a long time, but other schools were showing strong interest. After canceling a trip to Tuscaloosa for the Southern Miss game, Walton made a commitment the following day to the Tide.

Walton did not attend the A-Day game, but is staying in close contact with the Alabama coaching staff. He is aware of his role for the fall of 2005.

"I talked to Coach Ball a few weeks ago. They want me to come in and play on the defensive line, probably defensive tackle. They have never said anything to me about red-shirting. They have said they don't plan to red-shirt me, and I should be ready to play this fall," said Walton.

The big defensive lineman is already drawing comparison to Anthony Bryant, and Walton is ready to get to Tuscaloosa.

"Right now, I am 6-4, 325 lbs. I am going to try and move there in June. I will enroll for classes in July. I have been working-out and running every day. I am trying to stay in good shape. I like where I am right now."

Walton is on track academically to qualify, and he is already thinking about the number he plans to wear at Alabama.

"I am ready for graduation. That is all that is left for me. I scored an 18 on the ACT, and I have a 3.5 GPA. I am hoping to wear # 77 next year. I guess we will see when I get there," said Walton.

Part Two will feature:Baron Huber, Zach Schreiber, Antonio Forbes, Brandon Deaderick and Bobby Greenwood.

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