Counting down to No. 1

It's a talent-rich year in the state of Alabama, and some experts predict as many as 50 players could sign Division 1A scholarships. <I></I> finishes its countdown of the state's Top Thirty athletes. <br><br>Today, Freddie Kirby reveals his choice for numbers one through 10.

# 10, Matt Caddell, Wide Receiver

5-11, 170, 4.45 McCalla, Alabama, McAdory High School

Matt Caddell

A game breaking athlete that is a major threat to take it the distance every time he touches the football, Caddell is electrifying with his moves and is utilized several different ways on offense. He is a deep threat receiver who also carries the ball on reverses. Plus, Caddell has made himself perhaps the most dangerous punt returner in the state over the past two seasons.

He also is the starter at free safety, and he accumulated 40 tackles and one pick as a junior. He was selected to the Super All Metro team and honorable mention All State team as a junior.

A distant relative of NFL Hall of Fame receiver John Stallworth (Alabama A&M, Pittsburgh Steelers), Caddell has camped at Alabama and Auburn.

Caddell is a National Honor Society member who will likely choose from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, and Vanderbilt.

# 9, LeRon McClain, Fullback

6-1, 241, 4.59 Northport, Alabama, Tuscaloosa County High School

LeRon McClain

Easily the state's number one fullback prospect as a senior, McLain is a dominating presence running between the tackles. In games, it is almost impossible to bring him down with just one tackler. He is a complete fullback who can run, catch, block, and be a leader.

McClain rushed for 1070 yards on 135 carries as a junior for 21 touchdowns and an average of 7.9 yards per carry. He also caught eight passes for 92 yards and one TD.

Defensively, McClain mans the linebacker position with much the same mentality as he does at fullback. He was credited with 86 tackles, three sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery, and one caused fumble.

McClain has a 3.0 GPA. His step dad, James Robinson, played football at Kansas.

He has interest in Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.

# 8, Tez Doolittle, Defensive End

6-3, 260, 4.70, Opelika, Alabama, Opelika High School

Tez Doolittle

Unquestionably the state's number one defensive end prospect, Doolittle uses power, quickness, and speed to defeat the offensive tackle.

Two teammates, Tommy Jackson and Will Herring, signed with Auburn a year ago, but Doolittle is by far the better prospect. He was credited with 86 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a junior en route to making the All Area Team. He doubles as a fullback on offense where he netted 224 yards on 48 carries with nine touchdowns.

Doolittle carries a 3.1 GPA. He has camped at Auburn twice and they are among his leaders followed by Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. Interestingly, at this point he is telling reporters that he wants to get away from the state, with the Miami Hurricanes his current favorite.

# 7, D. J. Chambers, Wide Receiver

6-0, 180, 4.40, Highland Home, Alabama, Highland Home High School

D.J. Chambers

An incredible four-sport athlete who is a standout in each sport, Chambers excels in football, baseball, basketball, and track. He runs the 100 meters, 200 meters, and Hurdles, plus he also is a high jumper. This season he is a candidate to win the state in all four events.

Chambers averages double figures in basketball, and is a highly touted baseball player that is expected to be drafted.

A crowd pleaser on Friday nights, Chambers has scored every way possible. He scored 13 rushing Tds, eight passing Tds, five receiving Tds, three via kickoff returns, two on punt returns, and two off interceptions.

Chambers has a 2.9 GPA in college prep classes.

He committed to Alabama over Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU and others.

# 6, Aaron Sears, Offensive Line

6-4, 306, 5.01, Russellville, Alabama, Russellville High School

Aaron Sears

The premiere offensive lineman in Alabama this year, Sears is a bona fide blue-chip player. He plays offensive tackle in high school, but he is quick enough to move down and play a guard position.

Sears has started since his freshman year and he graded 87 percent blocking efficiency as a junior. He's also considered a good enough athlete to play defensive tackle.

His uncle, Chad Sears played at North Alabama, while his brothers, Kevin and Colin signed with Auburn. However, Aaron has made clear that he is not a lock to sign with the Tigers.

Sears is considering the likes of Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Miami, and Florida.

# 5, Jayson Swain, Wide Receiver

6-2, 205, 4.40, Huntsville, Alabama, Grissom High School

Jayson Swain

A heralded receiver prospect that exploded on the scene his freshman year and hasn't looked back, Swain finds the open areas in a defense. His intelligence and athleticism combined creates a prime-time target that is tough to contain.

His size along makes him tough to defend, but when you include Swain's 35-inch vertical jump, he suddenly becomes unstoppable.

Swain made honorable mention All State as a freshman and junior, but made first team All State as a sophomore.

He has camped at Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn, and Nike (Tuscaloosa).

He says his interests include Tennessee, Auburn, Florida State, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Georgia Tech, Texas, and Michigan.

# 4, Dominic Lee, Defensive Tackle

6-3, 295, 5.00, Birmingham, Alabama, Huffman High School

Dominic Lee

A smart and intense player who gives you everything he's got in every game, Lee started his entire junior season at left offensive tackle. Then, mid-way through the playoffs, he moved to defensive tackle and played as though he been there all year.

He is nicknamed "the Dominator" because of his aggressive attitude and fierce play on the field.

On offense Lee uses his hands well, has great feet, and is technically sound. He graded 87 percent blocking efficiency as a junior and that led to his second team All Metro selection. But it's his defensive ability to create chaos and get after the ball that has coaches excited. In only three games, Lee had 23 tackles, four sacks, and numerous hurries--games that he played with a fractured shin.

Lee also handled his team's extra point and kickoff duties.

Lee is a very intelligent player who plans to major in sports medicine in college. "I want to fix the players I hurt," is how he puts it.

Lee camped at Alabama, Auburn, and Ole Miss. Those three along with South Carolina, Stanford, Michigan, and Florida State head his list.

# 3, Tim Castille, Running Back

5-11, 220, 4.55, Birmingham, Alabama, Briarwood Christian High School

Tim Castille

The youngest player to ever make an impact in the outcome of a state championship game, Castille burst on the scene as a 8th grader when he performed at a level that exceeded some highly publicized players of that year. He played wide receiver that year and finished the state championship season with 65 receptions for 1194 yards and 11 Tds.

Castille made the All State team as an 8th grader and has every year since.

He moved to running back as a freshman and was just as productive. Castille has accumulated 8,125 career all-purpose yards through his junior year and has totaled 92 touchdowns over that span. He is just 1715 yards away from breaking the state record for all- purpose yards. He also needs just 193 yards to become the states all time leading pass receiver.

Castille is a bruising runner who has the ability to break the long run, catch the ball out of the backfield, or pound it out five yards at a time. He has 13 one hundred yard rushing games, 13 one hundred yard receiving games, and 42 one hundred yard all purpose games. In addition to those figures, Castille has 18 touchdown runs over 50 yards.

His father, Jeremiah Castille, was a star defensive back at Alabama and also played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Castille camped at Alabama this summer and says he is looking for a school that can best utilize his versatility as a running back. His top two schools are Alabama and Tennessee. Georgia Tech follows next, while Michigan and Michigan State may get a look.

# 2, Chad Jackson, Wide Receiver

6-2, 205, 4.46, Birmingham, Alabama, Hoover High School

Chad Jackson

The major offensive weapon for the Hoover Bucs the past two seasons, Jackson is a primary target for quarterbacks due to his tall presence, great speed, and game-breaking ability after the catch. He led his team to the state championship as a sophomore, then followed that with a state runner up finish as a junior.

Jackson is the most highly touted receiver to come out of the state of Alabama in the past 15 years, including the likes of Deandre Green (Auburn), Benjamin Obomanu (Auburn), Toderick Malone (Alabama) and Ratavious Biddle (Ole Miss).

This All Metro and All State selection finished his junior year with 76 receptions for 1,243 yards (16.4 yards per reception) and 16 Tds. He also threw two passes for touchdowns and he returned one kickoff the distance.

He is a strong physical runner after the catch Jackson's game speed is even more impressive than his forty time.

Jackson attended the Nike Camp in Tuscaloosa. He has a list that features Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.

# 1, JaMarcus Russell, Quarterback

6-5, 212, 4.60, Mobile, Alabama, Williamson High School

JaMarcus Russell

A smooth operator who has dismantled defenses and opponents ever since he burst on the scene as a freshman, Russell is be able to make every possible throw with incredible accuracy. Following his sophomore season he was invited to participate in the Elite 11 quarterback camp in California where he competed against several senior to be quarterbacks and had a very impressive showing.

With few good receivers on his team, as a junior Russell completed 134 of 244 passes for 1,905 yards and six touchdowns. He was the Class 5A runner up for Back of the Year, and has been the Region Co-Offensive Player of the Year each of the past two seasons.

Russell is on track to become the state of Alabama's most prolific passer with a consistent senior year. The record is held by present Alabama quarterback, Brodie Croyle.

Russell hails from the same high school as Tamaurice "Tee" Martin(Tennessee, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rhein Fire), but Russell is much more polished and prepared for the college game.

Russell attended the Nike Camp (Tuscaloosa) and camps at LSU, Tennessee, and Georgia. A national prospect, he can basically name his school, but the ones most frequently mentioned include LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, and Virginia.

It's a genuinely outstanding year for talent in the state of Alabama, and there were several other names that deserve mention. These athletes were so close to being among the Top 30 that they deserve recognition.

Best of the rest

  • QB, Jake Ball, 6-2, 195, 4.60, Hokes Bluff, AL - Hokes Bluff
  • FB, Charles Campbell, 6-2, 220, 4.60, Mobile, AL - B. C. Rain
  • LB, Quenton Craddock, 6-3, 215, 4.60, Birmingham, AL - Mountain Brook
  • OG, JaMarius Dismuke, 6-4, 312, 5.49, Birmingham, AL - Parker
  • QB, Clay Harrelson, 6-2, 187, 4.75, Alexander City, AL - Benjamin Russell
  • CB, LaBrose Hedgemon, 5-10, 185, 4.50, Birmingham, AL - Hoover
  • ATH, Thomas Kirksey, 6-1, 200, 4.50, Mobile, AL - Davidson
  • QB, Cole Peace, 6-2, 210, 4.70, Cedar Bluff, AL - Cedar Bluff
  • LB, Carlton Rice, 6-1, 207, 4.50, Huntsville, AL - Johnson
  • OG, Adam Truitt, 6-3, 275, 5.00, Birmingham, AL - Hoover
  • RB, Corey White, 6-0, 215, 4.49, Bessemer, AL - Jess Lanier
  • OT, Marvin Wormley, 6-5, 328, 5.50, Bessemer, AL - Jess Lanier

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