Recruiting Importance

It is never a surprise when an All-Southeastern Conference football team is announced and there are more players on it who played high school football in Alabama than there are players from any other state.

Alabama Coach Mike Shula has made recruiting the top players in the state a priority, just as every other Crimson Tide head coach has done. That doesn't mean that it doesn't pay to get good out-of-state players. As good as the prep players in Alabama are, there aren't usually enough of them, particularly with other schools getting a few top Alabama prep stars.

Shula, like Bama coaches before him, sings the praises of Alabama's high school coaches, who produce players well-prepared for the college game.

Population giants like Florida and Georgia, and Louisiana, which puts a large number of players into the NFL, usually take a back seat to Alabama in producing top college players.

And it is obvious that Alabama high schools also produce good leaders. When the 12 Southeastern Conference teams send representatives to Birmingham at the end of the month to meet with the media, a fourth of the 24 players will be from the state of Alabama.

Alabama will be represented by senior halfback Kenneth Darby and senior cornerback Ramzee Robinson. Interestingly, both played at the same high school, Huntsville Butler.

Auburn will also be represented by two Alabamians, linebacker Will Herring of Opelika and wide receiver Courtney Taylor of Carrollton, both seniors.

Mississippi State will be represented by sophomore quarterback Michael Henig of Montgomery.

Tennessee will be represented by senior offensive tackle Aaron Sears of Russellville.

The University of Alabama will once again be represented by the most alumni in the coaching ranks. Both Shula and Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom are former Crimson Tide players.

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