With the Alabama Crimson Tide landing the top recruiting class of 2013, Tide fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Not so for head coach Nick Saban, who has already had his eye on the class of 2014 for a while.
The Alabama coaching staff has made the offensive line a key position for the 2014 class. After seeing what the 2012 offensive line was able to accomplish, it’s hard to imagine any offensive lineman in the country who’d be unwilling to strap up and take the field for the Tide. Today we take a look at three of the Tide’s top offensive line targets.
6’6″ 320 lb • Monroe, LA
The state of Louisiana is expected to turn out one of it’s most impressive recruiting classes in years. Unless an unheralded dark horse emerges during summer camps, the battle for Louisiana’s top prospect will ultimately be between Cameron Robinson and Leonard Fournette.
Robinson is a massive offensive tackle prospect who already possess the body of a seasoned NFL veteran. He has the size and skill to play from day one at almost any school in the country. Robinson is built very similar to former Ole Miss OT Michael Oher. Coaches have asked him to work on his strength a bit, but that’s probably just nitpicking. His strength is comparable to any offensive tackle in the country.
Like most of the top prospects to come out of Louisiana the last few years, Robinson is expected to choose between Alabama and LSU. He’s already visited Tuscaloosa on several occasions and left each time with nothing but compliments. However, he’s also done the same each time he’s left Baton Rouge. Robinson isn’t expected to make his announcement until January during the Under Armour All-American Game.
6’7″ 295 lb • Forestville, MD
Prince is undoubtedly Maryland’s number one prospect for the class of 2014. He was an All-Area and All-State selection in 2012. He was also chosen to participate in the 2014 Under Armour All-American game.
Prince has yet to visit Tuscloosa, but he has had the opportunity to speak with Coach Nick Saban via telephone. He hopes to have a face to face visit the leader of the Tide sometime during the summer.
Prince is wide open in his recruitment and list no favorites, or a timetable for a decision. He currently has offers from nearly every school in the nation, and although no school has the lead, Alabama is expected to be a strong contender for Prince’s services. Prince stated that he was “ecstatic,” when he finally received an offer from Alabama.
The state of Maryland has been very kind to Alabama in the past by sending the Tide phenomenal offensive lineman such as Arie and Cyrus Kouandjio. Alabama fans would consider Damian Prince the perfect finishing touch on a Maryland trifecta.
6’4″ 310 lb • Jackson, MS
Taylor is without question the top offensive line prospect from the state of Mississippi for the class of 2014. He’s quick and strong, and reminds several scouts of a more compact version of DJ Fluker. His quick feet make him an ideal tackle, but his strength and run blocking ability will make plenty of coaches think twice about moving him to guard, especially if he adds additional bulk to his frame. Versatility is never a problem, especially at Alabama, where guys like Barrett Jones have excelled.
Taylor currently has a top four of Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU, but also notes that nothing is set in stone. Alabama was one of the first to offer Taylor which left a favorable impression in his mind. At one time Taylor listed Alabama as his favorite but he’s since backed off that statement a bit. Taylor has already visited campus and met with Coach Saban several times. He camped in Tuscaloosa for his sophomore and junior seasons and plans on returning again this summer.