The ink is barely dry on the letters-of-intent faxed in by various high school seniors, but the recruiting machine never stops. The 2013 class already has seven commits and several top prospects bracketed by Alabama fans as “must-haves” such as Robert Nkemdiche.
Before turning the page to the 2013 cycle, there are a few 2012 players that could have an immediate impact on the fortunes of the Crimson Tide:
CB, Eastern Arizona Community College, Thatcher, AZ
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound Dixon will see the field next year due to the losses of Dre Kirkpatrick to early entry in the NFL Draft and DeQuan Menzie, who exhausted his eligibility. He is a shutdown corner that has the size to match up with the bigger wide receivers in the SEC. Expect to see him lined up across from an opponent’s No. 1 receiver throughout the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Travell has already enrolled at the Capstone and will participate in spring football.
MLB, Bob Jones High School, Madison, AL
Reggie Ragland is one of the highest rated prospects in the 2012 Alabama recruiting class. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 245 pounds. This monster from Bob Jones could work into the playing rotation behind Trey DePriest and CJ Moseley. He will see action on special teams throughout the 2013 season. He will enroll in time for summer workouts.
K, Calhoun High School, Calhoun, GA
Griffith is rated the No. 1 kicker in the country for the 2012 recruiting cycle by Scout.com. He has a monster leg and was a key cog in the Calhoun state title team. Alabama’s well documented kicking woes have been answered by a prospect considered one of the best kickers to come out in some time. Griffith will be on campus starting this summer.
OT/NT, Davidson High School, Mobile, AL
The loss of Nick Gentry and Josh Chapman has opened up the NT spot for the Alabama defensive front. Taylor fits the NT mold at 6-foot-6, 340 pounds. The main question for Alphonse is can he develop his technique well enough to hold the point at the nose guard position. Taylor’s size, while assuredly an asset, can lead to playing with higher pad level which allows offensive linemen to gain more leverage and move him out of plays. If Taylor can button up his technique, he can earn playing time on the defensive line. He has enrolled early at Alabama and will go through spring practice.
S, Dutchtown High School, Geismar, LA
Landon Collins has been the cause of some drama off-the-field, but won’t cause Tide fans any heartache on the field. Collins showcased his talents at the Under Armour All-America Game where he proved he can be a power in run support by single-handedly stopping two runs from inside the five. Safety is a crowded position for Alabama, but the big-hitting Collins will see time on special teams and begin to ascend the depth chart as the season progresses. Collins will join the Tide for summer workouts.