Ready To Travel

Alabama's football players may be happy to see next week come. That's because most of the Crimson Tide assistant coaches will take to the road for four weeks for an evaluation period. Meanwhile, assistant coaches have been working with players in conditioning periods.

NCAA rules allow football coaches to work with their position players in strictly conditioning work in the off-season. There is no football, no football equipment, and no coaching of football. This work is in addition to what the players do with the strength and conditioning coaches as a part of the off-season regimen.

But now Alabama's coaching staff will be in recruiting mode for four weeks beginning April 25. The NCAA has a recruiting window on the calendar from April 15-May 21. A school may have its coaches in high schools for a total of four weeks (the days designated in advance by the school) during that time. Alabama selected four consecutive weeks beginning April 25.

As in other off-campus recruiting activity, a school may have no more than seven coaches off campus at the same time. Alabama will ordinarily not have Head Coach Mike Shula, Defensive Coordinator Joe Kines, or Offensive Coordinator David Rader in off-campus recruiting activity.

This spring period is actually not recruiting, because the coaches will have no contact with the prospects or their families. It is an evaluation period. And a coach may make two visits to the school of the same prospect, once to evaluate him athletically (for instance, by watching him in spring practice) and once to secure academic information, usually by speaking with a guidance counselor.

Although the head coach would be unlikely to participate in this evaluation procedure, the NCAA is thought to be near to legislating that the head coach not be permitted to go off campus for this purpose.

Alabama's coaches will visit many high schools in the state, but will also venture out of state to evaluate prospects.

Alabama coaches' recruiting territories (subject to change) are:

Sparky Woods, who is off-campus recruiting coordinator, has West Alabama, North Mississippi, West Tennessee and East Tennessee.

Chris Ball has North Alabama, Middle Tennessee, and Central Florida.

Bob Connelly has South Alabama, South Georgia, the Florida Panhandle, and Dallas. Paul Randolph has the Montgomery area, along with Atlanta and Miami.

Dave Ungerer (who has been recovering from leg surgery) has the Gadsden/Anniston area, the Tri-Cities area, Atlanta, and Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

Buddy Wyatt has the Mobile area, South Mississippi, the New Orleans area, the Houston area, and the Jacksonville (Florida) area.

Following the evaluation period, Bama coaches will be involved in Crimson Tide summer football camps. Randy Ross, Alabama's director of football operations, will shift from coordinating recruiting activity to overseeing (with Tim Bowen) the camp operations.

Information about the football camps may be obtained by calling (205) 348-0808 or by going to RollTide.com (where information on all athletics camps conducted by The University may be obtained) or MikeShula.com internet site.

The camp for players entering the second through eighth grades will be June 4-5.

Ninth-12th grade players may camp June 13-15.

There are two senior-only, one-day mini-camps, one on June 11 and one on June 12.


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