Alabama Football Recruiting: Where Do the Crimson Tide Stand With Their Remaining Targets?


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Alabama Crimson Tide have already assembled one of the best recruiting classes in the country once again in 2013. But, Nick Saban and company are still blazing the recruiting trail to try to cap off this class.

After Alabama’s 42-14 win over Notre Dame in the BCS Championship Game, Saban told the media that the Crimson Tide is currently behind in recruiting. That’s a scary statement considering Alabama has the third-best class in the nation according to

Alabama has 21 commitments, including two five stars and twelve four stars, in their 2013 class as of now. With Bradley Bozeman set to grayshirt, Alabama has room for five more guys in this signing class to give them a full class.

Big name targets remain on Alabama’s recruiting board, and you can rest assured that Alabama is going to make a few more big splashes before signing day as they make a run for the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

Here’s a look at Alabama’s remaining targets:

Reuben Foster, LB, Auburn, AL

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 228 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 Star, 13th overall
Also Considering: Georgia, Auburn
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

Reuben Foster was one of Alabama’s first commitments to the 2013 class, committing to the Crimson Tide prior to his junior season of high school. Foster moved to Auburn before his senior season, and it didn’t take long for him to de-commit from the Crimson Tide and give a verbal to the hometown Tigers.

After a 3-9 season and coaching turnover, Foster de-committed from Auburn and reopened his recruitment. Foster is the No. 1 overall player in the state of Alabama, the top ranked linebacker, and the 13th-ranked player in the country according to Rivals.

He has great speed for his size, and can hit as hard as any high schooler in the country. Foster is the best high school linebacker I have ever seen on tape. He has the ability to make an immediate impact wherever he ends up.

Foster took an official visit to Washington a week ago, and this past weekend he was in Tuscaloosa visiting Alabama. Foster has an official visit to Georgia scheduled for this weekend, and he will visit Auburn the weekend before signing day.

Most recruiting experts expect this to come down between Alabama and Georgia, but don’t underestimate his wanting to stay close to his daughter in Auburn. Auburn will have the last crack at him on a visit, so that will be pivotal.

Laremy Tunsil, OT, Lake City, FL

Measurables: 6-foot-6, 295 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 Star, 14th overall
Also Considering: Georgia, Ole Miss
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

Laremy Tunsil is the top-ranked offensive tackle and the 14th best player in the country according to Rivals. Tunsil took an official visit to Tuscaloosa on January 11th, visited Georgia this weekend, and will take his final official next weekend to Ole Miss.

Tunsil is good friends with Alabama early enrollee Derrick Henry, and that gives the Crimson Tide a leg up in recruiting him, but still most recruiting experts think Georgia is the preemptive favorite to land the big offensive tackle.

Tunsil projects as a left tackle in college, and in all likelihood he would redshirt or be a backup next season to Cyrus Kouandjio. Tunsil could get a look at left tackle, but since he isn’t an early enrollee, it would be tough for him to pick up the system quick enough.

Still, next year figures to be the last year Kouandjio is in Tuscaloosa as he is expected to declare early for the NFL Draft. Tunsil would likely be Kouandjio’s replacement.

Most say this is a two-horse race between Alabama and Georgia, but Hugh Freeze is putting together a strong recruiting class in Oxford, and the Rebels have closed a lot of ground in the Tunsil sweepstakes.

Tunsil plans to make his decision on signing day.

Matthew Thomas, OLB, Miami, Florida

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 205 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 Star, 15th overall
Also Considering: Florida State, Georgia, Miami (FL), USC
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

There have been some rumors that Alabama took the lead for Matthew Thomas after his official visit on January 11th, but many still think it will be hard to pluck him out of the state of Florida, which would mean that it could come down to Florida State and Miami.

Thomas took an official visit to USC last weekend, and he still has visits lined up with Florida State and Georgia. He also plans to visit Miami sometime during the middle of a week before signing day.

If Thomas came to Alabama, he could end up redshirting in 2013. He’s going to need time in the strength and conditioning program before he is able to play linebacker in college, but he has tremendous speed and athleticism. Once he bulks up, he should be really good.

Thomas will announce his final decision on signing day.

Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, Placer, CA

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 310 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 Star, 21st overall
Also Considering: Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, Washington
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

Vanderdoes de-committed from USC in late December and reopened his recruitment. Nick Saban has been aggressively recruiting the five star defensive tackle ever since. Vanderdoes has great size and strength, and has great quickness in firing off the ball.

He is a strong run-stopper, but he also has enough quickness to make plays on the quarterback.

I think Alabama is still in for an uphill battle to pull Vanderdoes away from local schools USC and UCLA, but the Crimson Tide do have one advantage in recruiting him. They are his last scheduled visit, so Nick Saban will get the last crack at him on an official. His official to Tuscaloosa will still be very fresh on his mind come signing day.

Montravius Adams, DT, Vienna, GA

Measurables: 6-foot-3, 290 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 Star, 25th overall
Also Considering: Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia
Chances of Signing With Alabama: Medium

At one time, Alabama looked like the odds-on-favorite to land Montravius Adams. The 6-foot-3, 290 pound defensive tackle has drawn comparisons to Marcell Dareus in what kind of role he could play on the Crimson Tide’s defensive line in the future.

Adams has a powerful first step that allows him to explode off the ball and make plays in the backfield. Adams was on hand for Alabama’s national championship celebration this past weekend, and he still plans to take official visits to Georgia and Auburn.

Georgia and Clemson seem to have a bit of an edge over Alabama in his recruitment with the Bulldogs potentially being the favorite because his mom really wants him to stay in-state. Auburn is considered a darkhorse due to his strong relationship with Rodney Gardner, who left Athens for the Plains.

Vonn Bell, S, Rossville, GA

Measurables: 6-foot-1 190 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 5 star, 32nd overall
Also Considering: Ohio State, Tennessee
Chances of Signing with Alabama: High

The experts seem to think that Vonn Bell is a near Alabama lock, with the expectation that he announces his intention to play for the Crimson Tide before or on National Signing Day. Bell visited Ohio State two weeks ago, and Alabama this past weekend. He still plans to take an official visit to Tennessee this weekend.

Of all the five stars Alabama has left on the recruiting board, Bell looks like the safest bet to sign with the Crimson Tide. Bell is a little bit on the small side for a safety, which is why some think he could get a look at corner on the next level. Time in a college strength and conditioning program will do wonders for him though.

The rumor is that Bell is a soft commitment to Alabama, but he still intends to drag out his recruitment until signing day.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Norcross, GA

Measurables: 5-foot-10, 192 pounds
Rivals Ranking: 4 Star, 45th overall
Also Considering: Georgia
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

It’s basically a coin flip between Alabama and Georgia for the signature of four-star running back Alvin Kamara. He is officially down to two schools and will announce between the two on signing day.

Kamara enjoyed his official visit to Tuscaloosa last weekend, and he has an official visit scheduled for this weekend to Athens.

Alabama already has three running backs committed to this class – Derrick Henry, Altee Tenpenny and Tyren Jones – which many say is a disadvantage for the Crimson Tide in recruiting Kamara, but Saban is recruiting the four-star from Norcross like he would be only back in this class.

Kamara has repeatedly said that he doesn’t care about Alabama’s depth chart and that he would welcome the competition in Tuscaloosa. Still, pulling him from Georgia would be a major coup for Saban.

Dee Liner, DE, Muscle Shoals, AL

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 274 pounds
Rivals Ranking: Four Star, 61st overall
Also Considering: Miami (FL)
Chances of Signing with Alabama: High

When Dee Liner officially de-committed from Auburn, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would end up signing with Alabama. Liner is considered a soft commitment to the Crimson Tide at this moment, but he has been very quiet about his recruitment after de-committing from the Tigers.

Liner is no longer considering Auburn, and while Miami is still technically in the running, he cancelled an official visit he had scheduled there. It would be a major upset if Liner didn’t put pen to paper for the Crimson Tide on signing day.

Antonio Conner, S, Batesville, MS

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 202 pounds
Rivals Ranking: Four Star, 86th overall
Also Considering: Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

Antonio Conner is the top-ranked player in the state of Mississippi, and the in-state schools are aggressively fighting to keep in the state of Mississippi. Hugh Freeze has a lot of momentum in Oxford right now, so you have to think the Rebels have a bit of an edge over the rest of the field.

Most think this will come down between Alabama and Ole Miss as Conner plans to announce his college choice a few days before National Signing Day. With Vonn Bell likely to land in Tuscaloosa, it could give Ole Miss an even bigger edge in bringing him to Oxford.

If I were to bet on it, I’d say Conner ends up at Ole Miss, but Alabama is still very much in the running.

Eddie Jackson, WR, Lauderdale Lakes, FL

Measurables: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds
Rivals Ranking: Three Star
Also Considering: Arkansas, Florida State, LSU
Chances of Signing with Alabama: Medium

Eddie Jackson was so impressed with Alabama on his official visit, he nearly committed to the Crimson Tide. In the end, Jackson only went as far as to name Alabama his favorite. Jackson still has official visits planned to LSU and Arkansas, but he may not end up taking either. Jackson seems sold on Alabama, but the real question seems to be whether or not Alabama is sold on him.

With all the remaining targets left on the board, and the limited space left in this class, does the Crimson Tide have room for him in 2013, or would they ask him to take a grayshirt and count toward the 2014 class?

If Alabama will take him in the 2013 class, it only seems like a matter of time before Jackson makes it official by committing to play in Tuscaloosa.

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