One of the biggest names expected to visit Alabama this weekend is four-star Ryan Hill from Rickards High School in Tallahassee Florida. Scout.com's fourth-best defensive back in the country has Alabama, Ohio State, and USC slightly behind Miami in the race for his signature. The 5-11, 186 pound defensive star said, "It's easy since Miami is in-state and right in my back yard but the rest, it's not like some mediocre teams or smaller teams we're talking about. The bigger teams like Ohio State and Alabama, they will always be there. Those are the ones that I want to see. I know they compete with Miami for recruiting guys like me, and I want to see what they have to offer. That's why I haven't committed yet."
Scout.com's four-star running back-linebacker Marcus Sims from North FloridaChristian School in Tallahassee emerged over the past few weeks as an Alabama prospect. "His recruitment has been kind of different," Marcus' father told Scout.com. "We have added some schools and taken some away. When they don't meet the criteria we cross them out. We have eliminated Tennessee and Auburn. We added Alabama and Clemson." Sims is the younger brother of Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims. Sims is recruited by Alabama Coach Bob Connnelly, and the Tide staff sees the 6-2, 220 pound athlete on the offensive side of the ball. Florida State, Miami, USC and Clemson are all in contention for his signature.
Ochuko Jenije is teammates with Sims at North Florida Christian. The 6-0, 175 pound defensive back has flown under the radar, but has received several scholarship offers since the beginning of his senior season. "My favorite team growing up is Florida State," Jenije told Scout.com. "If Florida State were to offer, they would be on top. I don't know what I would do. I would like to play with some of my North Florida Christian teammates like Marcus Sims, Carlton Salters and Ricky Yates in college. It's really going to come down to where God leads me and what my parents think. Depth is only a small factor."
The loss to Auburn put a damper on the Tide finishing strong early with in-state prospects torn between the two powerhouse in-state schools. The Tide has the opportunity to turn their heads this weekend.
Phenix City Central's Earl Alexander is one of the top five players in the state and is a Scout.com four-star recruit. The 6-4, 210 pound athlete knows his future position is up in the air between quarterback and receiver. Alexander grew up an Alabama fan, but said the Iron Bowl result has the Tigers in the lead for his signature.
Colbert County's Jermarcus Ricks had the Tide in the lead for his signature during the fall recruiting process. Scout.com's four-star lineman left the Iron Bowl wanting to give the Tigers a second look. With brother Courtney Harden a linebacker for Auburn, it was a matter of time before the Tigers got his attention. The in-state schools will battle for his signature. With Ricks expecting to play defensive tackle in college, Auburn has four defensive lineman verbally committed and this might factor into his decision.
Tennessee soft verbal commitment Michael Goggans grew up dreaming of playing for the Crimson Tide. Tennessee was the first to extend a scholarship offer to the Benjamin Russell star, and Goggans anxiously waited a month before the Tide offered. Scout.com's three-star big athlete (6-3, 245) will take an official visit to Auburn (1-13) and his teammate, LaBronski Hutchins, is a verbal commit to the Tide. Hutchins plans to take officials visits to Auburn and Louisville.
One of the most talked about players over the past month has been Scout.com's four-star linebacker Derrick Odom from Callaway High School in Jackson, Mississippi. Odom is a physical specimen at 6-2, 205 with 4.5 speed. He is an exceptionally good-looking prospect playing defensive end as a senior. Odom took an official visit to Ole Miss (12-4), and he plans to visit LSU, Tennessee and Southern Miss as well. With relatives at Southern Miss and waiting late in the recruiting process for a decision, Odom is hoping the Tide will wait before filling their allotment of linebackers.
Justin Woodall, from Lafayette High School in Oxford, Mississippi, is a 6-1, 200 pound safety with a Tide connection in former teammate Bama safety Jeffrey Dukes. Woodall broke the Mississippi state record as a junior with 16 interceptions. Scout.com's three-star prospect has Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee vying for his services.
The Tide staff is still looking to add a couple of play-makers at the wide receiver position for the class of 2006. Alabama received the commitment of Nikita Stover--the No. 1 player in the state for the class of 2004. Failing to qualify, Stover has been enrolled at Itawamba Community College and plans to enroll in January at The Capstone.
Mike McCoy from Northwest in Brandon, Mississippi, is 6-2, 195 pounds, and recorded over 650 yards his senior season. Scout.com's three-star receiver has Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss and Mississippi State on his list of favorites.
Scout.com's four-star running back Mon Williams, from Mesquite-Horn, Texas, is a surprise visitor for the weekend. The Alabama coaching staff recruited Horn defensive lineman Cordero Moore in the class of 2005, now an Oklahoma freshman. Williams is a 6-2.5, 200 pound back and listing Florida as his favorite. His senior year was impressive with 285 carries for 1,650 yards and 17 touchdowns, 415 yards receiving, and two kick returns for touchdowns. He added nine receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
BamaMag.com will report updates Sunday afternoon following the official visits.