On hand for Junior Day, the prep athletes visited the Alabama campus and got a chance to talk one-on-one with Price and his coaches.
Alabama's Director of Football Operations, Randy Ross, explained the process. "What we try and do is bring juniors in to visit the campus and acclimate them to what the recruiting process is going to be. We go over academic issues with them to give them an idea of what we're looking for.
"We explain to them what they need to do in terms of eligibility. We go over the basics, explaining that they're limited to just five official visits. We try to cover the recruiting process as a whole."
In addition to his other administrative duties, Ross also holds the title of On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator. "After Signing Day we set one day aside and bring next year's seniors in," he explained. "Usually you try to make the day coincide with a Saturday basketball game, to give the youngsters and their families a feel for the campus and our fans. Last Saturday's game started late, which made it tough on some of the families that traveled a long distance. Of course we'll also have them in for games next fall."
In the highly competitive world of SEC recruiting, if you're not moving forward, then you're losing ground. "You're trying to get a jump on next year's recruiting," Ross said. "Get a little ahead, if you can."
The Alabama staff sent out more than 100 invitations to prospective recruits in Alabama and the surrounding states. Ross explained that Coach Price intends to concentrate his recruiting efforts on the area within a 300-mile radius of The University's campus, while also cherry-picking select athletes from farther away.
As much as anything else, recruiting is about establishing relationships. And that doesn't happen overnight. With Price and his staff members new to the job, they plan on taking advantage of every opportunity in the coming months to meet with recruits and their families.
Ross explained, "The biggest thing that happens on Junior Day is just to let the athletes meet us and us meet them. It's an opportunity to get to know each other. It's an important chance to get the recruits on your campus. We pass along a lot of important information to them, but the biggest thing is a chance to meet the coaches."
Taking up most of a Saturday, the event focuses on the athletes and their families. But high school coaches are often involved as well. "We encourage high school coaches to come along with the recruits and their families," Ross said. "We had several come, which worked well. Most of your Junior Day visitors are family members, but we always welcome high school coaches to campus."
NCAA rules prohibit a school from talking about prospective recruits, but BamaMag.com has confirmed that the following prospects were in Tuscaloosa Saturday:
Offensive prospects on hand
- QB Blake Barnes 6-3 215 4.70 Baldwyn, MS
- FB Cole Mason 6-1 225 Jasper, AL - Parrish
- RB Markus Manson 6-0 195 4.50 Tuscaloosa, AL - Hillcrest
- FB Julius Delaney 5-11 232 4.78 Highland Home, AL - Highland
- FB Chris Barnett 6-0 210 4.60 Mobile, AL - McGill Toolen
- OT Cody Davis 6-6 260 Tuscaloosa, AL - Hillcrest
- OL Al Jefferson Mobile, AL, Davison
- OT Jason Smiley 6-5 240 Troy, AL - Charles Henderson
- OG Cody Greene 6-5 296 Oneonta, AL - Oneonta/ Cullman
- OL Cody Turner 6-6 345 Flomaton, AL – Flomaton
- OT Jonathan Lyons 6-4 295 5.34 Mobile, AL - McGill Toolen
- TE Trent Davidson 6-6 250 4.80 Brewton, AL - T. R. Miller
- WR Dee McClure Adamsville, AL – Minor
- WR Maurice Dupree 5-11 175 Centre, AL - Cherokee County
Defensive prospects attending
- DT Jeff Farr 6-4 300 Pell City, AL - Pell City
- DE Justin Britt 6-4 240 4.80 Cullman, AL – Cullman
- DL Jeremie Holifield, Hoover, AL -- Hoover
- DE David Brown 6-3 250 Madison, AL - Bob Jones
- LB Chris Guyton 6-3 210 Tuscaloosa, AL - Hillcrest
- ILB Dusty Lindsey 6-3 220 4.70 Mobile, AL - Davidson
- ILB Jordin Lindsey 6-3 220 4.70 Mobile, AL – Davidson
- CB Simeon Castille 6-0 185 4.50 B'Ham, AL - Briarwood Christian
- CB Travis Robinson Tuscaloosa, AL – Hillcrest
- CB Tyrone King Adamsville, AL – Minor
- DB Matt Jackson, Hoover, AL -- Hoover