What Now?

So, Tim Tebow decided to commit to Florida, leaving hopeful Alabama fans temporarily in despair and wondering what now? What's the impact of Tebow's decision on other recruits? How much [if any] affect will the decision have on other Alabama prospects for the year?

First, he is a super talented player at the most important position on the field, which of course is why Mike Shula wanted him. But the odds of geography, family and Tebow's own heart were stacked heavily against Alabama. Guys like Tim Tebow don't come around very often, and even though Alabama didn't get Tebow, the fact is that Alabama will be in on more rare talents as years pass, and they will land some of those prize recruits in the future. There are many schools that never had a shot with Tebow, and won't have a shot at the next national star prospect.

Perhaps the biggest immediate impact of Tebow's decision, aside from the obvious one of missing out on a very talented player, will be on the mentality of the Alabama staff for the remainder of the recruiting season. Tebow might have given them some breathing room, some inclination to take the foot off the pedal ever so slightly for a day or to and revel in their accomplishment. Instead the Alabama staff will hit the trail hard to make up for any lost ground, and perceived lost ground.

Talk of Tebow costing Alabama an slew of prize recruits is nonsense. Grand alliances among prospects to all attend a certain school together are never much more than lip service. The only person that conceivably might have been swayed by Tebow's decision might be Homewood receiver Tim Hawthorne, but Hawthorne is so far from a decision - at least publicly - that no one considered him anywhere close to an Alabama lean. Nevertheless, signing Hawthorne should be considered a bonus. The Tide staff certainly would have been proud to boast about Tim Tebow's commitment to otheir remaining prospects. It might have given the recruiting a bit of momentum, but as on the football field, momentum can change quickly.

The truth is that with six weeks to go in recruiting season Alabama's biggest fish are still in the pond. Huffman offensive lineman Andre Smith is and always was the best football player on Alabama's recruiting board. Smith will likely announce on signing day, and Alabama has the built in advantages to look like a likely choice.

There's a lot of work for the staff to do between now and then as well, like picking up a public commitment from Earl Alexander, who seemed impressed with his official visit to Alabama.

Getting the commitment of a third player from the state of Mississippi, linebacker Derrick Odom is another likely avenue for the Tide. And without a doubt, there are other spots to be filled and surprises yet to come in this exciting recruiting year (linebackers and linemen, linebackers and lineman).

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