Alabama All-Stars: Storylines

The Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic practices begin Tuesday morning in Montgomery, Ala. Andrew Bone takes a look at several key storylines surrounding the event.

Winston or Yeldon

The five-star quarterback from Hueytown, and the National 100 running back from Daphne, are arguably the top two recruits in the state. Jameis Winston and T.J. Yeldon are in the same backfield this week as teammates in the Ala.-Miss. All-Star Classic.

Both took official visits to the University of Alabama this past weekend, but don't expect both in Tuscaloosa next fall. Winston is currently committed to Florida State, and Yeldon is committed to Auburn.

Winston is rated the No. 1 player in the state with Yeldon at No. 5. Their senior year performance gives it a toss-up as to the No. 1 rated high school player post-season. Their projection/ranking is not based on who is the best high school player, but one of the rankings should change before signing day. The coaches for 'Team Alabama' are certainly happy with both in the backfield this week.

Ready for spotlight

Ryan Anderson, three-star defensive end, will play linebacker this week which is the position he played his senior year and where he expects to play at the University of Alabama. Anderson raised his stock during the senior season with 102 tackles, 14.5 sacks and 38 tackles for loss.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder will play with a chip on his shoulder. When asked about his ranking Anderson responded, "I want to stay a three-star. I want to punish these four and five-star guys who think they are better than me."

Anderson has really developed into one of the premier linebacker recruits in the region. He plays with tenacity, a serious mean streak and fast. He can take on blockers and chase down players from behind. He has certainly earned the respect on the field to have his name mentioned in the same breath with guys like Reggie Ragland, Kwon Alexander and Cassanova McKinzy.


'Team Alabama' is one of the best teams, top-to-bottom, we have seen in this event. That's even with numerous elite players not particiapting. Kwon Alexander, five-star linebacker from Oxford, suffered a season-ending injury after tearing his ACL. Chris Casher, National 100 defensive end from Mobile-Davidson, was ruled ineligible after transferring from Faith Academy prior to the 2011 season.

Justin Shanks (Florida State), four-star defensive tackle, and Justin Thomas (Alabama), four-star wide receiver from Prattville, were not selected to the game. Cassnova McKinzy (Auburn), four-star linebacker from Birmingham-Woodlawn, Darren Lake (Alabama), three-star defensive tackle from York-Sumter Central, Darrion Hutcherson (Auburn), four-star tight end from Dadeville, and Javiie Mitchell (Auburn), three-star linebacker from Leeds, are all missing in this event.

Other elite prospects not participating include Laronji Vason (Wake Forest), three-star cornerback from Prattville, and Tyler Stargel (Georgia Tech), three-star linebacker from Gulf Shores.

Eyes on linebackers

'Team Alabama' has the most impressive group at this position you will find in any local, regional or national all-star game. The All-Star Classic features three Alabama commitments including the nation's No. 1 middle linebacker in Reggie Ragland, from Madison-Bob Jones, Tyler Hayes, four-star from Thomasville, and Ryan Anderson, three-star from Daphne. Scout 300 member Beniquez Brown, four-star from Florence, is another standout player who is uncommitted. This is the strongest overall unit on 'Team Alabama'.

Who will emerge

A player who is flying under the radar and someone who will immediately jump on the radar of programs looking for players to fill their class in the last few weeks of the recruiting calendar. We see this every year.

A player who should emerge more on the recruiting scene is Rocky Hayes, athlete from Heflin-Cleburne County. Hayes was even on the original roster. He is a replacement for Hoover's Caleb Sims who suffered a concussion in Friday night's Class 6A final against Prattville.

Hayes is receiving interest from several schools, but has yet to receive a scholarship offer. He is a terrific athlete who is dangerous in the open field with the ball in his hands. He has good ball skills and can play on either side of the ball. This is his opportunity to put his name on the map playing with the best in the state.


News is breaking on a daily basis on our network whether it's a commitment, scholarship offer, scheduled visit or in-home visit. We don't expect a low profile week unless players decide to focus totally on the game and place recruting on the back burner until Sunday.

Reporters will flock to the high-profile players such as Winston and Yeldon who are fresh off official visits to Alabama even though they are pledged to Florida State and Auburn, respectively. Plenty of other recruits participating who remain uncommitted and top targets for major schools. Our network will bring the most up-to-date recruiting info on all the players.


'Team Alabama' has owned this series since it's inception in 1988 winning 17-of-24 games including the past three. Things won't get any easier for 'Team Mississipp' in this year's event.

We moved

The game this year is in Montgomery at the Cramton Bowl rather than Ladd-Peebles in Mobile. Kick-off is Saturday, December 10th at 12:30 p.m. You can purchase tickets at any ticket booth on Saturday prior to the game. Admission is $5.00, and children under the age of five are admitted free.

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